2021 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals 7-round mock draft predictions.
After an unfortunate week 17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams which saw the Arizona Cardinals miss the postseason with a .500 record, Kliff Kingsbury and management will seek to continue their meteoric rise on the shoulders of Kyler Murray with more young talent.
With five selections in the entirety of the 2021 NFL Draft, Arizona needs to evaluate wisely and understand where youth is needed most.
The 2021 NFL offseason will be a pivotal period for the Arizona Cardinals with the impending loss of key personnel on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. These players are:
- Patrick Peterson, CB
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR
- Kenyan Drake, HB
- De’Vondre Campbell, LB
- Markus Golden, EDGE
- Haason Reddick, EDGE
- Kelvin Beachum, OT
Long-time key pieces Patrick Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald will likely be seeing the end of their tenures in the desert after years of high-level contribution. Fitzgerald has already been surpassed by top wideout De’Andre Hopkins to address team need, but an overall weakened Arizona secondary needs to find complimenting pieces to standout safety Budda Baker.
Three essential cogs to the Arizona Cardinals front-seven will also likely be collecting bigger paychecks from other organizations following free agency, including the repurposed Haason Reddick who managed 12.5 sacks through the 2020 season including a five-sack game against the New York Giants.
Finally, lead halfback Kenyan Drake was unable to justify his $8.483 million price tag with under 1,000 yards rushing in 2020 and only 25 receptions. In a positional market that has prioritized inexpensive rookie contracts over veteran contribution, the Arizona Cardinals will also be seeking a new backfield partner to Kyler Murray in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the gaping void left in the Arizona Cardinals secondary following the inevitable loss of franchise-cornerback Patrick Peterson, the 2021 NFL Draft offers an opportunity for Arizona to directly replace their isolation-corner with a prospect built in a similar mold.
All-Pro safety Budda Baker looks to be one of the few returning members of the Arizona secondary and is in need of a complimenting talent on the opposite side of the hashes.
Jaycee Horn is a lengthy six-foot-one corner out of South Carolina who has displayed some of the most impressive isolation man-to-man coverage of any player within the 2021 NFL Draft.
Horn takes long strides to keep pace downfield with vertical threats and has a rangy wingspan which helps him to keep a hand in contact with the back hip of the receiver. He is a prototypical man-corner that has become increasingly popular among NFL front offices.