There’s a decent possibility that the Arizona Cardinals will address the tight end position during the upcoming NFL Draft
The Arizona Cardinals are remaining quiet these days. The NFL Draft is almost here, the club’s secrets will soon be revealed. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim is armed with 10 selections, an ample of amount of picks to fill in some roster holes with.
One area of the team that could be addressed later on this week is the tight end position. Arizona’s starter at the spot since 2015, Jermaine Gresham, was sent packing last month. The former Cincinnati Bengal failed to live up to the inflated contract he was signed to in 2017.
The Cardinals’ current depth chart includes Charles Clay, Ricky Seals-Jones and Darrell Daniels. Clay, who has 339 career receptions, was signed to a one-year free agent deal back in February. Seals-Jones is returning for his third campaign with the Redbirds and Daniels was plucked off of the waiver wire last November.
It’s fairly obvious that the squad could use some help at the position. Luckily for the Cards, the upcoming draft has a group of talented tight ends that Keim can choose from.
Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson may be the best of the 2019 pool. The Hawkeye caught 49 passes for 760 yards and six touchdowns in 2018, and will more than likely be drafted early on in the proceedings. The Cardinals have more pressing needs, however, so it’s unlikely that they would use their first-round pick on Hockenson.
Another tight end who may be drafted too early for the Cardinals is also out of the University of Iowa. Noah Fant, like his Hawkeye teammate Hockenson, is also expected to be selected in the opening round. In three campaigns at Iowa, Fant tallied 78 catches, 1,082 yards and an impressive 19 scores.
One tight end who could be an option for Arizona is Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. The talented pass-catcher tallied 44 receptions for 710 yards and seven touchdowns for the Crimson Tide last season. The Cards’ second-round selection (#33 overall) could potentially be used on Smith Jr., who is projected to be a late-first, early-second round choice.
There are mid-round tight end options for the Cardinals as well. Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger reached the end zone 10 times in 2018, and averaged 17.3 yards per catch. San Jose State’s Josh Oliver tallied 54 receptions for 667 yards and four scores last season.
After months of anticipation, the 2019 NFL Draft is almost here. There are certain segments of the Arizona roster that needs the front office’s help. The tight end position just happens to be one of them.