Arizona Cardinals 7-Round Mock Draft: Trading Back From No. 3

NFL Mocks | Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Mocks | Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Arizona Cardinals have to add to a struggling roster. This 7-round mock draft beefs up the trenches, gets help in the secondary, and adds a few playmakers.

The Arizona Cardinals need a lot of help in this year’s draft despite making the playoffs just two seasons ago at the end of the 2021 season. With several concerns on the defensive side of the ball and the need to surround Kyler Murray with more pass protectors and weapons, the Cardinals need to find impact players at a number of different positions and should be fully focused on supporting their franchise quarterback and fielding a competent defense in 2023.

Arizona Cardinals 7-Round Mock Draft: Trenches and CB Early

With a new head coach in Johnathan Gannon and a new general manager in Monti Ossenfort, the 2023 NFL Draft will be a unique opportunity for both of these newcomers to reshape the roster in whichever way they see fit. Whether that includes adding the best player available or targeting positions that need help, here is a look at what the Arizona Cardinals draft class might look like this April.

Round 1, No. 4 (via trade with IND): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE – Alabama

Reportedly, several teams are interested in trading up with the Cardinals in this year’s draft, but in this mock, Arizona elects to move back as little as possible, trading down just one selection with the Indianapolis Colts. This deal makes a lot of sense for both teams, as the Colts can ensure that no other quarterback-needy team can trade up in front of them while keeping the Cardinals in front of their division rivals in the Seattle Seahawks.

With the fourth overall pick, the Cardinals bolster their lackluster defensive line with Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. Anderson might not be the best fit for a defense that seems to be rolling out a 4-3 front next season, but the upside of the nation’s best collegiate pass rusher over the past two seasons is too much to pass up at number four overall. There is a reality where Anderson Jr is the first overall pick in this year’s class, and considering the Cardinals could be able to trade down and still land the top defensive player, this move would certainly a great start for a team who needs some serious re-tooling heading into next season.

In 2022, the Arizona Cardinals were in the bottom 10 in the NFL in terms of quarterback sacks at just 36, half of which came from J.J. Watt and Zach Allen. With both of those players leaving the team this past offseason (Watt to retirement, Allen to the Broncos in free agency), there is certainly a massive hole on this roster in terms of pass rushers. Anderson can come in and instantly relieve a lot of this pressure and is still an above-average player in terms of rush defense. For a team who needs to find a blue-chip player who can carry this defense for years to come, Anderson should be a no-brainer.