Arizona Cardinals will pick 29th in the 2016 Draft
By Erich Becker
With their loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Arizona Cardinals will pick third to last in the first round
The team with the second best record in the league will pick third from the end in this year’s NFL Draft as the Arizona Cardinals will pick 29th overall in the first round when the draft starts on April 28th from Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.
The New England Patriots, who were implicated in the “Deflategate” scandal will not have a pick in the first round leaving only 31 picks for the prime time, first round portion of the draft. This does help the Cardinals, as well as the Panthers and Broncos by allowing them to move up a pick, because of their better record, the Cardinals would have picked 30th.
So the question will come down to, what do the Cardinals with the 29th pick?
Unfortunately, there are not favorable results for the Arizona Cardinals with late first round picks. In 2009, after losing in the Super Bowl and picking 31st the Cardinals selected Beanie Wells, who, after a disappointing, injury-fueled career, is not even in the league anymore.
In 2010, after losing to the Saints in the Divisional Round of the playoffs the team choose Dan Williams, who was a great pick and served the team well, however, was not resigned when he became a free agent and signed with the Oakland Raiders.
And last season, choosing D. J. Humphries proved to be a questionable pick as the rookie never made it to the starting line-up or the field over the course of the season. Only the 2015 Draft, when the Cardinals selected Deone Bucannon, could you call a 20+ pick a success.
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Steve Keim is the master of his art, and the team can really pick well with gems like John Brown, Andre Ellington and David Johnson to hang their hat on, but they will have to focus on the defensive side of the ball either in the draft or free agency to address the glaring need for a pass rush going into next season. As I touched on in my Morning After column, the team needs to find a way to put pressure on the quarterback to take some of the strain off of the secondary.
As free agency, the combine and the draft come into focus things may provide some clarification on how the team will be able to tackle this need. Right now, the Arizona Cardinals can’t rely on Dwight Freeney to be the Dwight Freeney of his prime, they need young, fresh blood behind a dominate front four, and right now that blood is not on the roster.