Back in 2018, a rookie center who had been drafted by the Arizona Cardinals just months before was pressed into action. Mason Cole, a third-round draft pick out of the University of Michigan, would be taking over as the anchor of the squad’s offensive line. Veteran A.Q. Shipley, Arizona’s projected starter, had torn his ACL during the team’s annual “Red and White” practice.
Cole would go on to start all 16 games for the Cards that fall. Now, three years later, the 6’5, 292 pounder’s tenure with the organization has come to an end.
On Thursday, the Cardinals announced that they have traded Cole to the Minnesota Vikings. In return, the club gets a sixth-round selection in next month’s NFL Draft. Previous to the deal, Arizona had no pick in that round thanks to last year’s trade with the New York Giants that brought edge-rusher Markus Golden back to the desert.
The 25-year old Cole appeared in 46 contests during his three campaigns with the Cards. Over that time period, the versatile lineman was credited with 32 starts. Besides his play at center, Cole also made a couple of starts at the left guard spot.
Last fall, Cole logged 14 starts for the Cardinals at center. At various times, however, the former Michigan Wolverine was replaced in the lineup. Lamont Gaillard, a sixth-round selection of the club in 2019, was inserted into the lineup whenever Cole struggled.
Cole became expendable last week, thanks to another trade that was executed by Arizona’s front office. Talented center Rodney Hudson and a seventh-round choice were acquired from the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a third-round pick. The 31-year old Hudson, a three-time Pro Bowler, was immediately placed at the top of Big Red’s depth chart.
There’s talk out of Minnesota that the Vikings are going to use Cole at one of their guard posts. The Illinois native showed promise as a first-year performer for the Cards, but then regressed significantly last season. We here at Raisingzona.com wish Cole nothing but the best going forward.