The Arizona Cardinals are one of the more intriguing teams to watch in the 2024 NFL Draft. While the team currently has the number two pick, the Cardinals have shown some promising signs under first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon.
However, to make the team a contender they are going to need to upgrade the overall talent level on the field. Some of the areas the team must address is finding a number one wide receiver, upgrading a run defense that ranks dead last in the NFL, and one of the weaker offensive lines in the league.
In this mock draft, the Cardinals add their best wide receiver since Larry Fitzgerald. The team also upgrades both sides of their line of scrimmage with a total of seven picks either being offensive or defensive linemen.
Round 1 Pick 2: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
The Arizona Cardinals may be tempted to take one of the top quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft, but the team has too much invested in Kyler Murray to take their third quarterback in the top ten since 2018. They also could trade down, but Marvin Harrison Jr. may be too good to pass up and he fills a desperate team need. The Cardinals top wide receiver Marquise Brown's contract is up at the end of the season and he is far from a number one wide receiver.
Harrison is one of the highest-graded receivers to ever come out of college and should develop into Murray’s go-to target as a rookie. What makes Harrison stand out is his impressive hands that allow him to catch anything thrown his way. He also has the strength to make the tough catch in traffic or break tackles after the reception.
Round 1 Pick 16: Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois
Ideally, the Arizona Cardinals would take an edge pass rusher like Jared Verse with this pick, but there is a good chance he will be off the board by this point of the draft. This could lead to the Cardinals looking to add a player like Jer'Zhan Newton with this pick
Jer'Zhan Newton is an impressive athlete who could play defensive end in the Cardinals' 3-4 defense. In this spot he would upgrade the Cardinals’ pass rush, showing a quick burst off the ball and having recorded 13 sacks over the last two years. He also would be an upgrade to the Cardinals 32nd ranked defense.
"“He’s an excellent, excellent, excellent football player. High draft pick. Powerful, two gap. Makes plays down the line. Can torque you in the pass rush game. Their scheme, because they play with five down lineman basically 90% of the time, creates five one-on-ones. So you have to win five blocks and they have to just win one pass rush or one run block to have a successful play.”"- Nebraska's Matt Rhule Jer’Zhan Newton
Round 2 Pick 34: Demeioun Robinson, DE, Penn State
The Cardinals add their second defensive lineman in a row with the selection of Penn State defensive end Demeioun Robinson. This might seem like Arizona is putting too much draft capital in on position but the Cardinals currently rank 26th in the NFL in sacks per game averaging just 2.2 sacks a game and in their last three games that number drops to a league-low 0.3.
Demeioun Robinson is a player projected to go in the top 20 currently but his lack of production could cause him to fall down the board. During his three-year college career, he only recorded six sacks. However, he is an elite athlete who runs a 4.47 40-yard dash and bench presses 400 pounds according to Bruce Feldman. His athletic ability could allow him to play outside linebacker in Arizona’s 3-4 defense.