It’s April and the 2018 NFL Draft is just days away. What will the Arizona Cardinals do over the three days? Here’s one idea from the BritishBirdgang as we present our full, seven round Mock Draft.
It’s fair to say that we have been slacking on Mock Drafts this year, so to make it up to those who enjoy reading these things, here’s the first one for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Hopefully there will be more as we try to pass these next few days of sources, insider information and smokescreens before we get to the good stuff.
1.15 – Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
The Arizona Cardinals hopefully have their long-term answer at LT in the form of DJ Humphries, provided he’s able to stay on the field for once this season having had injuries ruin his NFL career to date.
On the right side, the team traded veteran tackle Jared Veldheer in the off-season for a sixth round pick in this draft and also brought in veteran Andre Smith during Free Agency.
But they need a long-term answer there who, was DJ to continue to struggle to stay healthy, might have the opportunity and talent to line up on the left-hand side of the line…and McGlinchey would appear to be a guy capable of doing both.
Quarterback could have been an option with this selection, but the ‘Top 4’ were off the board and even Lamar Jackson was out of the team’s grasp…but they don’t miss out on a quarterback in Round 2.
2.15 – Kyle Lauletta, Quarterback, Richmond
The Cardinals couldn’t get themselves a quarterback with #15 in the draft, but are able to snare Lauletta in the second round. Could he be the QBOTF Arizona has been unable to get their hands on in previous years?
Perhaps it was rather fortuitous that Bruce Arians decided to retire in the off-season because guys like Kyle Lauletta might have been a complete no-go under his leadership owing the supposed “lack of arm talent” some believe him to possess.
However, Mike McCoy doesn’t seem to be as ‘stuck in his ways’ as Arians was and has shown he’s capable of adapting his offence to the quarterback he has available to him – so perhaps McCoy and Lauletta could be a good partnership heading forward for Arizona.
3.15 – Equanimeous St. Brown, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
Larry Fitzgerald is returning for 2018, much to the delight of Arizona Cardinals fans around the world. But he’s nearing the end of his illustrious career and they must begin to prepare for that eventuality where he’s no longer in the desert.
Equanimeous didn’t exactly light it up at Notre Dame, though this was sometimes probably more down to the lack of a decent quarterback throwing him the ball. As shown at the Combine, he clearly has the athletic ability and talent to be a difference-maker in the NFL.
Given that there’s only JJ Nelson and a rather-untested Chad Williams behind Fitz in the pecking order, there’s a chance that St. Brown could come into Arizona and contribute from Day 1.
3.33 – Arden Key, EDGE, LSU
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but a talented, former LSU player that showed a lot in his early years in college football before off-field issues and ill-discipline saw his draft stock plummet…and he’s available in the 3rd round for the Arizona Cardinals?
It’s fair to say that the demise of Arden Key this off-season has been nothing short of spectacular; seen by many as a Top 10 guy in this draft class with a floor of being a first round talent, the poor testing at the NFL Combine and lack of production in his final year with the Tigers now has him in the Day 2/3 area.
However, the Cardinals take a shot with him. They’re short on the edge with Markus Golden coming back from a torn ACL and Kareem Martin having left for NYG, so there’s a chance for Key to contribute from Day 1 IF he sorts himself out…
4.34 – Kevin Toliver, Cornerback, LSU
The Arizona Cardinals biggest need for the longest time has been their inability to fill the CB2 position next to Patrick Peterson, so could they go back to LSU to get themselves a big, athletic cornerback to pair with the big, athletic Peterson?
A highly-touted recruit heading into College, to many people his performance could be seen as relatively disappointing. There’s also many concerns over his attitude and immaturity, but hopefully having someone like Peterson as role-model and mentor would soon sort those out and give the Cardinals defence another playmaker on that side of the ball.
5.15 – Bo Scarbrough, Running Back, Alabama
With David Johnson being back in the fold following his injury-hit 2017 NFL Season, there won’t be many scraps for backs to fight for but it doesn’t hurt to have decent back-ups were he to get injured again.
Scarbrough is a huge individual, built very similarly to former Crimson Tide RB Derrick Henry – who’ll be taking over starting RB duties for the Tennessee Titans this season – who could offer something different to David Johnson and allow for DJ to take a break from time-to-time.
6.6 – Tyler Conklin, Tight End, Central Michigan
With off-season departures and Jermaine Gresham coming back from a nasty injury, the Cardinals tight end room looks rather sparse heading into the 2018 NFL Draft. So the Draft could present them with a fresh addition or two.
At 6’4’’ and 230, Conklin is on the smaller side when it comes to former College Basketball players and he also struggled last year having recovered from a nasty foot injury the year prior. However he seems worth spending a 6th on given his skill set and ability to play as both a blocking and receiving tight-end.
7.36 – Russel Gage, Wide Receiver, LSU
Last but not least, a third selection from LSU for the Arizona Cardinals in this mock draft as they bring in another wide receiver in the shape of Russell Gage. A speedy guy with huge special teams potential in the NFL, if he’s able to contribute on them for the Arizona Cardinals then this pick will be well spent.
Also, given the losses of several wideouts this off-season, there’s also the chance he may earn some playing time in his rookie year should he pan out and make it onto the teams’ 53-man roster for the regular season.