We’re nearly to the halfway point of our 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, ladies and gentlemen! Let’s review how the last five picks have gone.
10. Oakland Raiders - Vita Vea, DT, Washington
11. Miami Dolphins - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
13. Washington Redskins - Derwin James, S, Florida State
14. Green Bay Packers - Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
Now, we head back to the NFC West and the Arizona Cardinals at pick #15. The Cardinals are going through a bit of a transition, with new head coach Steve Wilks taking over for the retired Bruce Arians and long-time starting quarterback Carson Palmer announcing his retirement. They have a few different needs that they can address with their selection, so let’s take a look at them here.
2017 record: 8-8 (3rd place, NFC West)
CB Bene Benwikere (free agent signing), QB Sam Bradford (free agent signing), WR Brice Butler (free agent signing), QB Mike Glennon (free agent signing), G Justin Pugh (free agent signing), OT Andre Smith (free agent signing),
QB Matt Barkley (signed with Cincinnati), WR Jaron Brown (signed with Seattle), WR John Brown (signed with Baltimore), QB Blaine Gabbert (signed with Tennessee), LB Kareem Martin (signed with New York Giants), S Tyrann Mathieu (signed with Houston), TE Troy Niklas (signed with New England), QB Carson Palmer (retired), RB Adrian Peterson (released), QB Drew Stanton (signed with Cleveland), OT Jared Veldheer (traded to Denver), G Earl Watford (signed with Chicago), CB Tramon Williams (signed with Green Bay)
Offensive Line - The Cardinals have lost the entire starting right side of their offensive line from last season, with Watford signing with Chicago and Veldheer getting dealt to Denver. With Sam Bradford as the likely starter at quarterback for the Cardinals, they can’t afford to go into the regular season without doing something about their offensive line.
Quarterback - To deal with the retirement of Carson Palmer, the Cardinals signed one quarterback that can’t stay healthy in Sam Bradford, and another that can’t actually play quarterback in Mike Glennon. Neither of those guys should be considered a long-term answer at quarterback, but if the Cardinals were to go with a quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft, they wouldn’t be expected to play right away.
Secondary - Though he was injury-prone, the loss of Mathieu is a significant one, as he could play just about anywhere in the secondary. They need to take a serious look into a #2 cornerback to pair with Patrick Peterson, and they could certainly use some safety help, too.
Wide receiver - Larry Fitzgerald isn’t getting any younger, but the Cardinals have bid adieu to most of last year’s depth chart at wide receiver. The team did sign Brice Butler to a two-year deal, and he’s got plenty of potential, but the cupboard is pretty bare for the Cardinals at this position.
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama - Harrison is yet another guy from the Alabama pipeline to the NFL. Antoine Bethea has one of the safety spots held down for the Cardinals, but with Tyrann Mathieu now plying his trade in Houston, they need another impact player at safety. Harrison could do that as an “in the box” type of safety early on.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville - With the “Big 4” quarterbacks off the board, Jackson is the next name on the list. As we mentioned above, Jackson wouldn’t be expected to play right away if the Cardinals were to draft him, and his upside is as high as any other player in this year’s class. Would the Cardinals roll the dice on him?
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame - McGlinchey might be the best offensive tackle in this year’s class. . .though if you asked five different pundits to rate this year’s offensive tackles, you might get five different names at the top of that list. . .and would certainly step in and fill the huge hole at right tackle.
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado - There’s plenty of debate as to who’s next on the board at corner with Hughes gone, but we’ll put Oliver in this spot. Oliver is a tall (6’1”), rangy corner that is very solid in man coverage, and could be a very solid running mate for Peterson.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama - Yep, Ridley is still on the board, and he’s starting to get to the point where he might be a steal for whoever grabs him. As we’ve detailed on numerous occasions, he’s more of a slot weapon at this point, but could certainly develop into something more down the track.
Connor Williams, OL, Texas - As we’ve said in previous picks where he’s been an option, Williams appears to be better suited to shift inside than someone like McGlinchey would be. If his medicals check out (he injured both his MCL and PCL last year), he’s certainly worthy of this selection, and is someone that the Cardinals could flex to the outside should the need arise.
That’s where we are with the Arizona Cardinals, folks! Tomorrow, we get to the halfway point in Round 1 with the Baltimore Ravens at #16 overall.
With the fifteenth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Arizona Cardinals (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Connor Williams, OL, Texas