Last year, the Arizona Cardinals made a big move to set up their future. Quickly moving on from Josh Rosen, Kliff Kingsbury and company decided to get a brand-new quarterback in Kyler Murray. While the Kingsbury-Murray combo wasn’t quite as explosive as some may have though in Year 1, there was plenty of promise between the two. Enough to ensure they won’t be picking a quarterback in the first round for their third straight season.
So what will they do?
That’s the question facing Hombre De Queso, our interim Cardinals general manager in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft.
With the eighth pick in the draft, Mr. Queso has selected Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. Here’s the explanation:
“The Cardinals have had an interesting couple of seasons. They drafted a first-round QB and then traded him for peanuts so they could draft a different first-round QB last year. They added a head coach with no relevant experience running an NFL team and no record of winning anything at any level. As the philosopher Plato wrote in “Dodgeball,” “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.”
Thus far, it has paid off. Kyler Murray has been, at times, a sight to behold at QB. His tiny rocket arm pairs nicely with his Vick-ian scramble abilities. He’s also helped by playing for his old college coach, whose offense Murray’s skill set is tailor-made for.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Murray can’t block. Unfortunately for Murray, neither can the Cardinals. Arizona’s offense was tied for sixth-worst last year in sacks given, as opposing defenses ravaged the Cardinals offensive line for 3.1 sacks per game. That’s not good for any team—but it’s a disaster when your QB is built like a thick high school sophomore.
That’s why the Cardinals first pick in the NFL draft is Andrew Thomas, OT from Georgia. Thomas is a beast of a man, measuring in at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds. He’s also a three-year starter (he’s a junior who declared early) who spent his freshman year destroying the SEC as a right tackle, before flipping to left tackle. He’ll fit in nicely as the right tackle this season, and pairs well with left tackle D.J. Humphries, who signed a 3-year, $45 million extension this winter. If the team needs to move on from Humphries, they can slide Thomas to LT. If they don’t need to move on, they’ve got a pair of very good tackles to keep Murray upright.
The other options for this top pick were any of the other offensive tackles, defensive tackle, and wide receiver. Since the team traded their second rounder (plus more) for DeAndre Hopkins, WR is less of an immediate need. The best defensive tackles might make sense in a trade-down scenario, but I couldn’t justify any of them at #8. That left Thomas as the most obvious choice — the best player who also fits a huge need.”
What grade do you give the Cardinals’ pick?
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