2015 Mock Draft: The Arizona Cardinals select…


The Arizona Cardinals select 24th in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft

There a number of needs that the Arizona Cardinals will need to address in this offseason, whether through free agency or the draft.  As we focus on the upcoming NFL Draft, one of those needs is defensive end.  Sayre Bedinger of Fansided’s NFL Mocks site has put together his first 2015 NFL Mock Draft and addresses the Cardinals need at the position.

More from Cardinals News

The Cardinals have needs at many positions but one glaring issue was their pass rush in 2014, or lack thereof.  Current starting defensive end Calais Campbell, a Pro-Bowler, did have seven sacks but could have had many more.  The Cards left a lot of sacks in their back pocket this past season.

Bedinger says the Cardinals pick is going to be Nate Orchard from Utah.  Certainly not a bad choice at number 24 of the first round.  There are so many directions the Cardinals can go.

"Orchard was an absolute star for Utah this year in terms of getting to the quarterback.  He finished with 84 tackles, 21 for a loss, 18.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.  Adding that kind of presence to the edge for Arizona would be huge."

That’s a great assessment.  He also competed in a tough Pac-12 conference this season.  Being able to add a young pass rusher like that could pay dividends for years.  He alone certainly could help shore up an area of disappointment.

The biggest issue I have with Orchard is his size.  He is 6’3.  CBSSports.com has his ranked sixth at his position.  Now a couple of those top three or four guys will likely be gone by the time the Cardinals pick.

The Cardinals as I said have other needs.  ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Cardinals going running back with Melvin Gordon.  ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Cardinals going offensive tackle in Andrus Peat at number 24.  I have a hard time believing the Cardinals would stretch for a running back.  Offensive tackle could prevail there all depending on the the pass rushers remaining.

For all we know right now a guy like Orchard is the right pick.  I can’t complain about it but ESPN ranks Orchard even lower than CBS at seventh at defensive end.  CBS projects him as a second-rounder.  That may be more in tune what I originally thought but then again I hadn’t ever considered Deone Buchanan for the Cardinals in the first round last season.

Orchard did have a college career-high 11 tackles against UCLA this past season.  He also recorded two fourth-quarter sacks in order to help the Utes defeat the Bruins 30-28, earning him Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.