Once we have all shaken off our collective trauma from the past 10 years of Steve Keim ruining draft day, today is an absolutely incredible day for the Cardinals organization.
The last few months have been one big L for the Cardinals but the redemptive powers of the NFL Draft means the next three days can change everything.
Armed with the #3 overall pick and a new regime that is not yet burdened by the ghosts of previous drafts, the Cardinals can take a big step back towards relevancy if they get this draft right. How can they get the draft right in Year 1 of Monti Ossenfort?
Here is my plan for the perfect Cardinals Draft:
Step 1: Trade the 3rd overall pick to the Tennessee Titans for the 11th overall, the 41st overall, a 2024 1st round pick and a 2025 2nd round pick.
Step 2: Trade the 41st overall pick and DeAndre Hopkins to the Buffalo Bills for the 27th overall pick.
Step 3: Make these picks with their first three selections:
#11 overall - Bijan Robinson, RB
- The Cardinals need to make sure they get their top pick right. Robinson is the best bet to give the Cardinals the biggest return in the quickest amount of time from this year's first round. Lots of Cardinals fans believe, rightfully so, that this team is in a rebuild and doesn't need to spend valuable draft capital at one of the least valued positions. True, they are in a rebuild but this is the kind of rebuild where the owners of the house keep living in the house while the work is done. The Cardinals are rebuilding THIS year, next year they need to be back to contending. That's the reality when your QB has a cap hit of $51 million next season. Everything the Cardinals do must be done through a Kyler Murray filter and Kyler has always been at his best with a strong running game. There's no quicker, more impactful path to a strong running game and hence a better version of Kyler Murray than drafting the generational talent of Bijan Robinson.
#27 overall - Bryan Bresee, DT
- It's entirely possible the Cardinals flood the OLB/Edge position with first round picks, just not from this year's draft. Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons could join the Cardinals pass rush along with former 3rd round picks Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders. That amount of talent, while unproven, could allow the Cardinals to first address their defensive line, which is devoid of any single talent like the OLB group. Bresee is the former #1 overall HS recruit who flashed at Clemson in between injuries. Late in the first round, the Cardinals could still draft their most talented home grown defensive lineman since Calais Campbell. Other DT candidates that could be available here are Keion White and Mazi Smith.
#34 overall - John Michael Schmitz, C
- It's an absolute must that the Cardinals find their long term C somewhere in the first three rounds of this year's draft. The entire offensive line should be a priority but none more-so than Center, a position that is inextricably linked with the QB. Kyler needs a butt to grow old with, basically. While Schmitz is regarded as the highest rated, Joe Tippman, Luke Wypler and Cody Mauch could all be options as well.
The rest of the draft should feature a big WR, at least two additional offensive lineman and two cornerbacks.
The Cardinals aren't going to hit on every pick but its important to remember in our first draft since 2012 not being run by Steve Keim that it is possible to get some picks right.
If the Cardinals follow my formula, the rebuild could be over faster than Steve Keim draft pick busts.