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Arizona Cardinals 7 Round Mock Draft

Image: Aaron M. Sprecher/AP

The Arizona Cardinals had a very disappointing 2022 season leading to a brand new head coach and general manager. The Cardinals were fairly quiet in free agency this past offseason, so the draft is where they will have to find their players. PFF’s mock draft simulator helped me make selections for Arizona through all 7 rounds. There’s a lot that needs improvement on this team, so let’s get to work.

Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft: 2023 Edition

Round 1 (Pick No. 3)- Will Anderson Jr., Edge, Alabama

I know many people want or expect the Cardinals will trade this top 3 pick considering the quarterback situation of many teams. The Cardinals have also shown high interest in picking Tyree Wilson at this spot. However, this team had one of the bottom ten pass rushing defenses last season and Will Anderson Jr. is an absolute difference maker across the defensive line. He’s extremely explosive coming out of his stance and can get to the quarterback on nearly every down. Arizona also struggled mightily in their rushing defense last year, another thing Anderson Jr. can help correct. While trading this pick could be beneficial in a number of ways, Anderson Jr. allows new head coach Jonathan Gannon to make a splash for an elite player. The Cardinals hardly made a ripple in free agency, they need a big splash here.

Round 2 (Pick No. 34)- O’Cyrus Torrence, Guard, Florida

Arizona needs to refine their interior offensive line and O’Cyrus Torrence can plug right in. For a 330 pound guard, Torrence is extremely steady on his feet, however his feet aren’t very quick. Where Torrence excels is once he grabs hold of the defender. Once he gets a defender in his grasp, they are usually his to maneuver where he pleases. He’s better as a run-blocker than he is a pass-blocker, however the Cardinals struggled rushing the ball last season just as much as they did throwing. That being said, did I mention Torrence never allowed a single sack in college?  He played nearly 700 snaps in each of his 3 seasons and never once allowed a sack. He is the best linemen the Cardinals can take at this position if he is still on the board.

Round 3 (Pick No.66)- Trade with the Raiders

In this mock draft there weren’t really a ton of positional needs ready to be taken at 66. Arizona would trade back four spots with the Raiders, gaining the 70th pick along with 144 and 220. They would give up pick 66 and a 7th next year for the picks. Arizona has a lot of needs on this team, trading back at this time could help them later in the draft and in this mock draft, it definitely did.

Round 3 (Pick No. 70)- Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, Cornerback, TCU

Arizona lost their number one corner to Minnesota during free agency and the position was already a need. Here the Cardinals pick up a very speedy cornerback in Hodges-Tomlinson. He excels when running downhill as he led the NCAA in forced incompletions last season. His speed allows him to stick to defenders like glue and he very rarely loses speed when flipping his hips. The main issue with Hodges-Tomlinson is his small size, as he stands at just barely 5’8″. That small size causes him to get way too overaggressive at times. His penalty numbers in college are concerning and his overaggressive style may only lead to more when going up against NFL style receivers. However, if the Cardinals can keep Hodges-Tomlinson in check on the field, he could be a stellar corner for a needy secondary.

Round 3 (Pick No. 96)- Karl Brooks, Edge, Bowling Green

The Cardinals defensive line is in need of a revamp, Will Anderson Jr. was just step one. Step two brings edge rusher Karl Brooks to the Cardinals. Brooks is an extremely athletic defender who does a great job of keeping tackles off him. He recorded 12 sacks and 49 hurries during the 2022 season and was solid in run stopping as well. However, the extraordinary athleticism does come at a cost. Brooks lacks the strength to take on certain defenders and very rarely wins double teams. That could become an issue if the Cardinals choose to use him inside. Ultimately, I think Brooks could come in and be quite disruptive with Will Anderson Jr. on the other side.

Round 4 (Pick No. 105)-Moro Ojomo, Defensive Line, Texas

Arizona’s run defense needs a boost after some losses along the line and Moro Ojomo can do just that. Ojomo is one of the better inside run defenders in the class and is a mid-round acquisition the Cardinals can plug in right away. He also registered 5 sacks and 20 hurries in his career best season at Texas. I said earlier, this Cardinals defensive line needs a revamp. Moro Ojomo is another piece to that puzzle.

Round 5 (Pick No. 144 from LV)- Andrew Vorhees, Guard, USC

The Cardinals roll the dice picking Andrew Vorhees in the 5th round. Vorhees is currently recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered from the combine. It’s unlikely he’s on the field this season. However, Kyler Murray is also recovering from the same injury and may miss a portion of this season. This team isn’t ready to contend again, so giving Vorhees a year to recover won’t hurt the Cardinals. As far as injury concerns, he’s played 700 plus snaps each of the last two seasons. He should be healthy once he returns. Once he is healthy, I think he could be valuable in the interior line and could be a formidable starter in this league.

Round 5 (Pick No. 168)- Quindell Johnson, Safety, Memphis

Another option to help Arizona’s run defense is Safety Quindell Johnson. Johnson’s biggest strength is running downhill towards a runner. He could be useful in running scenarios. However, he can be prone to penalties in the secondary and the Cardinals were already top 5 in penalties last season. Jonathan Gannon will need to develop Johnson’s skills on the backend, but his ability when defending the run could be enough for the Cardinals to take a chance. If he plays, I imagine it’s mostly on running downs.

Round 6 (Pick No. 180)- Keaton Mitchell, Running Back, East Carolina

The rushing offense for the Cards was average last season and needs to improve to help the offense as a whole. Keaton Mitchell is a late round pick who can step in if necessary. He’s a lot like former Bears running back Tarik Cohen and could add something explosive to the offense. Mitchell finished first in carries over 15 yards last season and had 1400 rushing yards alongside 14 touchdowns this season. He’ll need to focus on attacking defenders a little bit more, but he could be a huge boost to this offense. The upside for this late round pick is one the Cardinals need to consider.

Round 6 (Pick No. 213)- Clayton Tune, Quarterback, Houston

Tune is one of my favorite prospects in this entire class and in this mock draft the Cardinals take him 213th overall. Tune is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in this years draft, having thrown 70 touchdowns to 20 interceptions the last 2 years combined. He has good mobility to go with a good arm, however he struggles with being consistent. With time behind Murray, Tune could be a top tier backup for the Cardinals. I think Tune will have a successful career as an NFL quarterback if he’s given the chance.

Round 7 (Pick No. 220 from LV)- Troy Brown, Linebacker, Ole Miss

With their last pick in the draft courtesy of the mock Raiders trade, the Arizona Cardinals select Troy Brown. Brown could be a solid role player along this defense as he lacks size and needs help in the tackling department. However, he has very good eyes for the football and could play a role in the rushing defense if he progresses. He’s a hard hitter that could add depth to a team that desperately needs it.

Arizona improves for now and later

This is the first draft for Arizona’s new regime and it’s crucial they get off to a good start. I believe with a draft like this one, the Cardinals can be successful with their prospects in the future.

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