We have come to the first pivotal pick in our 2023 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, where you, the commenters get a shot at being an NFL general manager.
The Arizona Cardinals are on the clock, and the first two picks have gone, mostly, as expected:
No. 1: Carolina Panthers, Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
No. 2: Houston Texans, C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Many people believe a team with as many needs as the Cardinals would trade this pick away to a quarterback-needy team, but there are no trades in the POD Community Mock.
That leaves commenter Cmonstar—who is acting as the Cardinals in this mock—with a difficult choice. But the pick is in!
With the third pick in the POD Community Mock, the Arizona Cardinals have selected Jalen Carter, defensive tackle out of Georgia.
Here is Cmonstar explaining the pick:
“With a recovering Kyler Murray, there was some consideration for continuing to load up on offensive weapons. This is, after all, a team that only averaged 20 points per game. Consideration was given to selecting Bijan Robinson and Quentin Johnston to help the anemic offense. Their leading rusher, James Conner, put up 782 yards over 13 games, and their leading receiver was DeAndre Hopkins with 717 yards in nine games. In fact, Kyler Murray was 22% of all their rushing yards with 418 yards on the ground in 11 games. But neither presented enough value at the #3 overall pick. So, our attention shifted to the defensive side of the ball.
“On defense, we had two clear-cut, top-tier talents available after two quarterbacks came off the board. They were Will Anderson and Jalen Carter.
“When making the decision, both were tempting. However, the Arizona Cardinals have a J.J. Watt size hole in their defensive line. With his retirement, Arizona lost just over 33% of its sack production. Watt accounted for 12.5 of the 36 sacks generated by the Cardinals defense. It would be unfair to expect Jalen Carter to replicate those numbers from the DT position considering that Watt would move up and down the line between edge and DT. If you are hoping for gaudy sack production, Will Anderson would be the choice.
“However, Arizona plays in a tough NFC West division with Seattle, San Francisco, and the LA Rams. Seattle and San Francisco both feature run heavy offensive schemes. Having a DT who can stop the run is essential. Additionally, the LA Rams offensive line has struggled to keep Matthew Stafford upright. Carter provides the best of both worlds, someone who can stop the run and collapse the pocket up the middle with the occasional sack. He won’t rack up the sack numbers of Will Anderson, but teams will have to game plan for him.
“Overall, grabbing an elite DT, despite Carter's red flags, is going to pay dividends for this young Cardinals team. This draft has plenty of depth to help shore up the defense that gave up 26.4 points per game and to help an offense that only averaged 20 points per game in the later rounds. When motivated and in shape, Jalen Carter is a force to be reckoned with and is a great pick for this Cardinals team.
Time to vote!
What grade do you give the Cardinals taking Jalen Carter?
This poll is closed