Round 3, No. 65: Jaylan Ford, LB/S, Texas
The Cardinals continue building a new identity on defense with the addition of Jaylan Ford. The Texas Longhorn is a bit of a tweener in terms of size, but his overall athleticism and play strength will allow him to stick anywhere on an NFL depth chart. Ford’s top-end speed and rawness in run support could cause some growing pains, but it is nothing an NFL coaching staff can’t fix.
Round 3, No. 66 (via HOU): Javion Cohen, OL, Miami
Paris Johnson Jr. and Olu Fashanu are promising bookends for the offensive line, but the interior still needs a facelift. Fret not; Miami’s Javion Cohen can fix that. A transfer from Alabama, the first-year player for the Miami Hurricanes has performed well in pass-blocking sets in 2023.
The run game remains a work in progress, as Cohen hasn’t yet figured out how to consistently leverage his strength. Contact balance is another issue that pops up from time to time, but given Cohen’s immense physical talent, an NFL coaching staff can finish putting this puzzle together.
Round 3, No. 75 (via TEN): Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
To Blake Corum’s credit, he is easily one of the best college running backs in recent memory. However, his advanced age and devastating 2022 injury could keep him on the board longer than expected. In this mock draft, the Cardinals take advantage and scoop up an instant starter in the backfield.
Whether Caleb Williams ultimately becomes “the guy” or if Arizona sticks by Kyler Murray, they need more out of the run game than James Conner can provide. Corum is a patient yet violent runner, capable of handling a full workload as a rookie. Finally, the Cardinals have an offensive identity that isn’t centered around Kliff Kingsbury’s Mickey Mouse scheme.