Round 1 (20th Overall): Derek Carr (QB) Fresno State
Everyone, even Carson Palmer, expect Arizona to take a signal caller early. Although the first round does seem TOO early, Carr is a talent that cannot be passed up. Carr is rumored to be the first quarterback off the board. Unfortunately for him, he is less hyped than the other top quarterbacks, and for that reason I believe he falls down the draft board. Coming from a pro-style offense in Fresno State, he will fit in nice as Carson Palmer’s replacement.
Other Options: Calvin Pryor. Ra’Shede Hageman
Round 2 (52nd Overall): Jimmie Ward (SS) Northern Illinois
The Cardinals need someone opposite of the honey badger. With Ward, Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, and the aforementioned Honey Badger, the Cardinals secondary is scary. Ward is the best strong safety in the class, and excels in both pass and run coverage.
Other Options: Will Clarke. Carlos Hyde
Round 3 (84th Overall): Trevor Reilly (OLB) Utah
John Abraham is getting old. He needs to be replaced soon so Sam Acho can have a reliable pass rusher on the opposite side. Reilly is physical, and can excel as a strict 3-4 pass rusher
Other Options: Trai Turner. Jack Mewhort
Round 4 (120th Overall): David Yankey (OG) Stanford
Since the Cardinals passed on OG in round three, they need to select Yankey here. Once considered the best guard in the draft, poor performances in the combine and pro days have hurt Yankey’s stock. He may get selected before this pick, but he definitely could fall here. I still think Yankey has talent to be a successful guard in the NFL, and he can certainly replace Paul Fanaika at RG. This should be a good pick here.
Other Options: John Halapio. Anthony Steen
Round 5 (160th Overall): Kevin Norwood (WR) Alabama
Behind Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald, there aren’t many reliable targets for Carson Palmer. Ted Ginn is not a reliable #3, so the Cardinals need to address this issue now, in the deepest WR class in years. Norwood was A.J. McCarron’s guy in Alabama, and has the size and speed to be a successful slot receiver in the NFL
Other Options: Brandon Coleman. Ryan Grant
Round 6 (196th Overall): Bennett Jackson (CB) Notre Dame
All major needs are met, so why not add some secondary help? Jackson is certainly not talented enough to be a #1 or #2 corner, but would be a key guy in nickel and dime packages, and is pretty good against the run, something that the Cardinals need, playing in the run heavy NFC West.
Other Options: Ross Cockrell. Cassius Marsh
With only 6 picks in the draft, the Cardinals can totally revamp their team and make another postseason run!
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