Arizona Cardinals, NFL Draft 2019

2019 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals hold the keys with the No. 1 overall pick

The Arizona Cardinals hold the keys to every round in the draft. Who will they add in Kliff Kingsbury‘s first year in the desert?

The Arizona Cardinals are ready to receive their reward for finishing with the NFL’s worst record. Draft weekend is finally a time where the worst can get better by holding the top pick in every round.

The Cardinals have a number of needs, but they’re better off than many teams who’ve held the draft’s top pick. Let’s take a closer look at the state of the Cards in Kliff Kingsbury’s first season as head coach.

State Of The Team

The Cardinals are partly in a rebuilding mode, yet partly retooling. A rebuild is with mostly young players. They will build in the draft but are supplementing with veteran free agent signings such as Terrell Suggs, Jordan Hicks, Robert Alford, Charles Clay, and J.R. Sweezy. The team will now be focused on the draft. They have the top pick in the draft for now, so they hold cards that can be dealt to give them even greater momentum.

Total Draft Picks

The Cardinals have 10 picks in the draft. They had 11 but traded one of them, sixth round pick, number 207 overall, for offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  • Round 1, pick 1 (No. 1 overall)
  • Round 2, pick 1 (No. 33 overall)
  • Round 3, pick 1 (No. 65 overall)
  • Round 4, pick 1 (No. 103 overall)
  • Round 5, pick 1 (No. 139 overall)
  • Round 6, pick 1 (No. 174 overall)
  • Round 6, pick 6 (No. 179 overall)
  • Round 6, pick 35 (No. 207 overall)
  • Round 7, pick 34 (No. 248 overall)
  • Round 7, pick 35 (No. 249 overall)
  • Round 7, pick 40 (No. 254 overall)

Top 3 Draft Needs

Wide Receiver: The Cardinals will need to address the receiving core at some point. So far, they’ve not made much of a splash in free agency at the position. There are some decent receivers to add in the draft, and this could be an area they address earlier rather than later. They need guys that are fast surely, but especially ones that can catch the ball.

Defensive line: Depending on who you believe, the Cardinals have needs on the edge and on the interior of the defensive line. This makes guys like defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams attractive. They should look at adding at both areas though. Depth has been a huge issue here with the Cardinals recently.

Offensive line: With the additions they made in free agency, they could still add a couple of offensive linemen in the draft and completely rebuild the offensive line. The unit was among the worst in the NFL in 2018. Quarterback Josh Rosen needs protection and maybe fans will get to see what he really can offer given time to throw the ball.

Top 3 Draft Targets

Quinnen Williams

DL, Alabama

As much as Bosa is a can’t pass according to many experts, neither is Williams. The Cardinals need more help on the interior of the defensive line. With the addition of Terrell Suggs in free agency, they have at least temporarily reduced an immediate need on the edge.

Noah Fant

TE, Iowa

The Cardinals added Charles Clay in free agency and tendered Ricky Seals-Jones but adding a young talent like Fant should seal the tight end room. Fant was a top performer at the Scouting Combine a couple of weeks ago.

N’Keal Harry

WR, Arizona State

The Cardinals may get lucky and have Harry available in the second round with the first pick. Now, his projection falls as early as late first round, so depending on how things go, if the Cardinals really want him, they may need to trade up to get him. With all the picks they have in the draft, they may be able to leverage a couple to move up to get him. If he ends up not being available, maybe Ohio State’s Parris Campbell is still available here.

Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)

The biggest decision maker is without a doubt general manager Steve Keim. This may be his last chance to prove he can draft a winning class. He’s had a few hits over the last several years but many have fizzled out. Guys like safety Tyrann Mathieu and receiver John Brown were considered steals. Now both found themselves out in free agency again this year. Keim struggled with personnel and his personal life in 2018. It’s definitely a make or break year for him or team president Michael Bidwill will be searching next offseason for a new general manager.

Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot

Historically, who was the best pick and the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking. 

Best Pick: Charley Trippi, running back, No. 1 overall in 1945 NFL Draft

The Chicago Cardinals struck gold at the top of the ’45 NFL Draft with the selection of future Hall of Fame running back (and really jack of all trades) Charley Trippi. Also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Trippi would win a championship during his rookie season and retired with the most total offense in NFL history.

Worst Pick: King Hill, quarterback, No. 1 overall in 1958 NFL Draft

The Cardinals have to hope for better luck at No. 1 overall than their pick in 1958. King Hill spent four total seasons with the Cardinals and ended his career with a miserable ratio of 37 touchdowns against 71 interceptions. Including stints in Philadelphia and Minnesota, Hill had a career record of 8-20-1 as a starter.

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