Arizona Cardinals: Trading their first round pick would be a mistake

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Arizona Cardinals would be wise to hold onto their first-round pick, the eighth overall when the 2020 NFL Draft opens on Thursday night.

The Arizona Cardinals have made some bold moves in the last two years. In 2018, they drafted Josh Rosen, a quarterback from UCLA who many had thought was the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft. After a rocky rookie season with a one-and-done coach, the organization jettisoned both, hired a rookie head coach, and drafted a Heisman Trophy-winning QB who might have been a better baseball prospect.

Now, three drafts later, the Cardinals are on the board with the eighth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. After what could only be described as a positive 5-11-1 season, Arizona has a chance to follow up on the productive first-year campaign of both Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray, with the kind of selection that sets the table for this coming season.

Who Arizona selects is still a debate, and it’s a good one to have. What should not be under consideration, is trading that pick, especially for a later choice. With the talent available in the top ten, and the Cardinals having legitimate needs, not utilizing the eighth selection for something “less sure” in a later round, is a mistake.

Now, while some may scoff at the selection of a franchise-type receiver, holes on defense, particularly an EDGE rusher or linebacker, can be addressed with that pick. Arizona could also shore up an offensive line that only helps a young up and coming quarterback like Murray.

The caliber of players available where Arizona is scheduled to draft in the first round is significant. If the Cardinals stand pat, they will still have the72nd selections in the third round, the 114th in the fourth round, the 132nd also in the fourth, the 202nd in the sixth round, and the 222nd in the seventh round. Key for Arizona is the position they draft for with that first-round pick. Seeing as it’s the eighth selection, their opportunity is significant. Giving up that kind of quality to pick up a second-round selection is a fool’s errand.

Next. Mock drafts have Cardinals going in a variety of directions. dark

The last thing Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim needs to do is overthink his position in the first round, especially with the kind of quality he will have available to him.