The Arizona Cardinals have needs all over the place. With the third overall pick, the team can select a blue-chip prospect. However, the possibility of them trading down is not out of the question either. It ultimately depends on how long Monti Ossenfort thinks this rebuild will take. With a total of eight picks this year, Arizona can seriously bolster their depth and quality if they handle the 2023 NFL Draft well.
Seven-Round Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Post-Super Bowl
Round 1, Pick 3: Will Anderson Jr., Edge, Alabama
There is no doubt about it. Will Anderson Jr. is a top-two prospect in this year’s class. The reality is that Arizona will be able to select either Jalen Carter or Anderson this year, given that the Houston Texans are slated to draft a quarterback. Should the Chicago Bears trade back, the Cardinals could even be given free rein between selecting Anderson or Carter. Either way, both prospects are as good as they come and fill huge needs for Arizona. And, needless to say, both are impact players who would be the cornerstone of Arizona’s defense for years to come.
Anderson’s astonishing draft profile has been well-documented everywhere. Should he be drafted by Arizona, it gives the franchise a second chance with developing a hybrid linebacker. In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cardinals selected Haason Reddick in the first round. Constant mismanagement of his development meant that the team failed to get him to his true potential. Two years later, he finds himself a key contributor as a pass rusher for the Philadelphia Eagles under Jonathan Gannon. With Anderson, the Cardinals have a chance to redeem themselves.
Will Anderson with a runway isn’t fair pic.twitter.com/yeTaUSQQn5
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) July 15, 2022
Round 2, Pick 34: O’Cyrus Torrence, Guard, Florida
Arizona’s interior offensive line is in desperate need of a makeover. The team’s line was incredibly banged-up last year, resulting in Arizona using a league-high number of offensive line configurations. Stability and availability are both needed. Justin Pugh has said he would like to return but Rodney Hudson looks set to retire. The team also have impending free agent Will Hernandez to make a decision about. As it stands, rookies Lecitus Smith and Marquis Hayes are the only interior offensive lineman ready for 2023.
Should O’Cyrus Torrence fall to pick 34, this would be a no-brainer. Torrence is arguably the top guard prospect in this year’s class, and also shows the versatility to play as a center. He is a dominant run blocker and is also a decent anchor in pass protection. He is particularly effective against the bull rush but struggles against speed at times. With that said, Torrence would be an excellent selection by Arizona and would be a starter straight away.
O’Cyrus Torrence again!
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) February 2, 2023
Round 3, Pick 66: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Cornerback, TCU
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson is the nephew of LaDainian Tomlinson. But that is not his only claim to fame. The undersized cornerback had an impressive season for TCU, establishing himself as a ball hawk on the perimeter. At the NFL level, he projects as a cornerback with inside-outside versatility. He is a physical tackler and is aggressive in bumping routes. He also shows great fluidity and athleticism. He does, however, struggle to break away from blocks and can sometimes be over-aggressive when triggering downfield and jumping routes.
As it stands, the Cardinals’ cornerback room is thin. It has been for the last few years. Re-signing Byron Murphy Jr. is thus a priority. Marco Wilson and Christian Matthew make up the rest of the cornerback room. If the team retains Antonio Hamilton too, drafting Hodges-Tomlinson would beef up the depth a bit more.
TCU’s Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson with his third big play of the half here (already has an INT and another PBU).
There’s the instincts and feistiness that have so many excited about him as a nickel prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft class. pic.twitter.com/wZC5Yy7PYt
— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) November 13, 2022
Round 3, Pick 96: Kobie Turner, Interior Defensive Line, Wake Forest
Kobe Turner is a vastly underrated prospect in this year’s draft. The 6’3” 288lbs defensive lineman who shows good power and IQ. His technique is also good, with effective hand placement, and plays with excellent pad level. While his mobility (or lack thereof) is a concern, Turner would bring some much-needed physicality and run-stopping prowess to the Cardinals.
J.J. Watt’s retirement as well as Zach Allen’s impending free agent status means that the Cardinals need an interior defensive lineman. Whether the team stick with a base 3-4 or switch to a 4-3 will affect who they target. However, Turner would fit in both systems. Re-signing Allen is a must as, behind him, the team only has Rashard Lawrence and Leki Fotu.
Highest-graded Power Five interior defensive lineman:
🎩 Kobie Turner, Wake Forest – 90.6
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 22, 2022
Round 4, Pick 105: Joe Tippmann, Center, Wisconsin
Rodney Hudson hardly saw the field in 2022 due to various injury problems. There were hints of this in 2021, but he was still available enough to be effective. However, it is clear that football has taken its toll on Hudson, who seems closer to retirement than not. Billy Price was Hudson’s replacement. While he was alright in patches, he had issues snapping the ball and was generally very inconsistent. Arizona must address the center position, and Joe Tippmann could be their guy.
Tippmann is a day-one starter who boasts good size and athleticism. His experience means that Arizona would be getting an NFL-ready prospect in a position with a gaping hole. Tippmann does, however, show a lack of flexibility and can sometimes be slow in pass protection. With starting reps and intensive training, however, these are things that could be fixed.
Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann—6060 315 lbs
♦️blends raw power & athleticism
♦️Blocking experience & reliability
— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) December 23, 2022
Round 5, Pick 169: Trey Dean III, Safety, Florida
The Cardinals possibly have one of the strongest starting safety tandems in the league. Budda Baker is the team’s unequivocal MVP but Jalen Thompson quietly had a statistically similar season. Thompson was also one of the few players that played in every game for the Cardinals.
Trey Dean III offers the Cardinals even more defensive versatility. With many versatile pieces already, the team has the potential to be a very effective hybrid defense. Dean fits into this vision well as a quality safety who was previously a cornerback. The Florida Gator is excellent in man coverage and is also keen to play tough and physical. For Arizona, he could be a backup at cornerback, in the slot, and as a safety. Inconsistent technique and poor eye discipline limit him, but these are things that can be coached up.
Trey Dean TIP DRILL INT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/2G6CrBySmc
— Florida Gators 🐊🔥 (@gatorsszn) February 3, 2023
Round 6, Pick 180: Kenny McIntosh, Running Back, Georgia
Kenny McIntosh comes from a highly successful team in Georgia. He is a very tough runner who also shows good hands and excellent run-after-catch ability. An extra nicety with McIntosh is that he has shown that he is working hard on his pass protection. In truth, there is little to knock about McIntosh aside from small, technical things. But, overall, McIntosh is an excellent athlete with good size and decent college production.
Keaontay Ingram was a sixth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. He showed some flashes but did not display good enough athleticism for the team to lean on him in the near future. He also lost the backup role to Corey Clement, who played well at the end of the season. The Cardinals could use McIntosh’s receiving threat. In 2021, the team looked most threatening when both James Conner and Chase Edmonds were available. With Edmonds gone, McIntosh would be an adequate replacement (or, even, upgrade).
SEC Players this century with 800+ rushing yards, 500+ receiving yards, and 10+ TD’s in a season this century…
— Graham Coffey (@GrahamCoffeyDC) February 7, 2023
Round 6, Pick 213: Dee Winters, Linebacker, TCU
With the final pick of this Cardinals mock draft, the team opt for Dee Winters. The versatile linebacker is a former safety, who reads the game well and is an excellent leader for TCU. Winters is a slightly undersized linebacker with good coverage skills and an excellent burst. His lack of size does, however, mean he can be overpowered, and he struggles to deconstruct blocks.
Whether the Cardinals remain in 3-4 or move to 4-3 next year, Winters would be able to find a role. The team has Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons, who are guaranteed starters next year. Winters would offer a slightly different skill set to both and would be a good developmental player. Winters’ high character and leadership will also be appealing to Ossenfort’s new regime.
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) February 1, 2023
Main Photo: Gary Cosby Jr. – USA TODAY Sports