After a big free agency period, Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim has some interesting options in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Arizona Cardinals made a monster move in free agency. So much so, that it almost telegraphs what they will do when they select eighths overall. Or does it? The Cards could be bold in the first round and defy conventional wisdom and draft a top tier receiver to eventually replace the aging Larry Fitzgerald. They could also select for the offensive line, and protect their franchise quarterback.
Most simply put, the Cardinals have a unique opportunity in the first round. Playing in the NFC West where the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks are all formidable within the division, who Arizona selects at No. #8 can set into motion an immediate climb out of the division cellar.
Go bold or go home? If GM Steve Keim is so inclined to go big on offense, his chance to immediately challenge in the division increases exponentially. Wide receivers like Jerry Jeudy, who has tremendous versatility, or Henry Ruggs III, who can stretch the field could be readily available when the Cardinals make their pick.
If Keim is thinking more conservatively, then Arizona drafts for the offensive line and the well being of quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray picked himself off of the turf 48 times in 2019. While the rookie could be responsible for a good number of those sacks, better field awareness in 2020 changes those numbers for the better.
Ultimately, it will boil down to what Keim sees as the draft develops in front of him, and the chatter leading up to and on draft day. With the potential for a dynamic season in Murray’s sophomore year, head coach Kliff Kingsbury could lobby hard for a big-name wide receiver. If it’s all about balance, then odds are high the Cardinals draft to protect Murray.
Of note, the Seahawks have the 27th pick while the 49ers select 31st. With the Cardinals being in the top 10, fans in the NFC West could watch in real-time Arizona making a move up the division ladder before the first round is in the books.