It’s time to talk draft Arizona Cardinals fans . . . draft picks, rounds, team needs, and prospects to watch.
by Nat L. Faybian • Senior Writer • @natlfaybian • nlfmockdraft.com • Jan 26, 2019 • Updated: April 6, 2019
Last year, General Manager Steve Kiem brought in a new head coach in former-Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, and together, they drafted a franchise quarterback in UCLA’s Josh Rosen. The team finished a dismal 3-13, and Wilks was fired.
Kiem has hired former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury to lead the team into the future. Kingbury is known for his fun-and-gun style of offense. Football fans are anxiously awaiting the unveiling or Arizona’s new offense.
There has been much speculation that Kingbury will draft Oklahoma’s Heisman winning quarterback, Kyler Murray, to lead his offense. However, the Cardinal drafted Josh Rosen with their number one pick last year.
New coach, new quarterback? It certainly is the storyline that has received the most buzz so far in this year’s draft lead-up.
2019 draft picks
*Indicates Compensatory Pick
- Defensive Tackle
- Offensive Tackle
- Defensive End
- Offensive Guard
- Wide Receiver
The Cardinals sit with the first overall pick, and they could go a few different directions.
They could trade out to a team looking to secure the top-rated QB; they could take Bosa, the top edge rusher; or they could take Quinnen Williams, the top rated interior DL.
If they traded back, they might eye LT Jonah Williams, CB Greedy Williams, or ILB Devin White.
A top-notch guard, like Wisconsin’s Ben Benzschawel, a dominant run blocker might be a good selection at the top of the second round. However, if new head coach Kliff Kingsbury is bringing a run-and-shoot style offense, perhaps a player more familiar with that style of offense might be a good fit – a guy like Cody Ford, for example.
This year’s draft class is very deep at wide receiver and tight end, they should have no problem picking up a talented wide out in the second, third, or even fourth round.
Prospects to watch
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa had been the hands-down consensus first pick for much of the fall, then Quinnen Williams gained some momentum, as did Dwayne Haskins (should Arizona trade down). Nick Bosa is considered the preimier pass-rusher in this draft and many think he is an identical clone of his older brother Joey. Nick Bosa, however, missed almost the entire 2018 season with a core injury, so teams will want a full medical evaluation. But if he checks out fine, there’s no reason the Cardinals wouldn’t draft him.
Jonah Williams, LT, Alabama
If the Cardinals trade back, they might be eyeing Jonah Williams. The Alabama left tackle could move inside at the next level and have a fine pro career. Williams spent two years holding down the left side in the highly competitive SEC – consistently facing, and beating, the nation’s premiere pass-rushers. This year, Williams won the the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is presented annually to the league’s top offensive lineman.
Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
The Cardinals are looking to come out of this draft with a top-rated safety. Abram is the most highly coveted downhill safety in this year’s class. He’s the tone setter for the defense. The Columbia, Mississippi, product racked up 93 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, five pass breakups, two interceptions, once forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 2018. Abram allowed a passer rating of 41.6 over his 40 targets this season according to PFF, which led all SEC safeties.
Terrell Hanks, LB, New Mexico State
Hanks has received a lot of interest from teams, since his strong showing at the Senior Bowl where he flashed plenty of speed and pop. He finished his Aggies career with 44 tackles for loss – seventh best in this year’s draft class.
Players to Watch: OG Zach Baily, South Carolina; WR Miles Boykin, Notre Dame; WR K’Neal Harry, Arizona State; WR Keesean Johnson, Fresno State; OC Eric McCoy, Texas A&M; DE Shareef Miller, Penn State; QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma; S Taylor Rapp, Washington; S Darnell Savage, Maryland; and OT Marquez Tucker, Souther Utah.
General Manager: Steve Kiem | Head Coach: Kliff Kingsbury | Offensive Coordinator: Tom Clements | Defensive Coordinator: Vance Joseph
Recent Top Draft selections:
2018: R1 Josh Rosen QB | R2 Christian Kirk WR
2017: R1 Haanson Reddick LB | R2 Buddha Baker S
2016: R1 Robert Nkemdiche DT | R3 Brandon Williams CB
2015: R1 D.J. Humphries OT | R3 David Johnson RB