The Arizona Cardinals have been aggressive in free agency. This tells us that the Cardinals are looking to put a winner on the field in 2021 and compete with one of the toughest divisions in football.
And while they are low on draft capital, with just 2 picks in the first 4 rounds, it shouldn’t surprise if general manager Steve Keim puts together a package to trade up and draft a game breaker in the top 10 of April’s draft.
Of course, Keim will most likely give up a few high picks in 2022 and 2023 if he plans on breaking into the top 10 to snag someone like a top receiver, tight end, or corner. However, if he’s planning on drafting the best in the 2021 draft class to plug and play from day one, a trade-up may be worth the cost of future picks.
The 2021 Draft Class is laden with talent at receiver and tight end, from DeVonta Smith to Kyle Pitts, Jaylen Waddle, and Ja’Marr Chase. And while the Cardinals’ receiving unit has talent and experience, along with a few gadget players, Kyler Murray and company would receive a major upgrade with just one more receiver in the mix.
Corner is another possibility, with players like Caleb Farley, Patrick Surtain, and Jaycee Horn all projected to go earlier than the Cardinals’ current selection with the sixteenth pick. However, with Robert Alford and Byron Murphy, and Malcolm Butler slated as the top corners, it makes sense to trade up to draft one of the highest-rated players at the position.
Pitts, however, will fulfill the biggest need on offense if the Cardinals decide to go in that direction. In a limited 2020 season, Pitts put up monster numbers with 43 receptions, 770 yards, and 12 touchdowns. It’s worth noting that he also had 17.9 yards per catch in 2020, which is actually down from 20.2 in 2019, despite his 54 receptions.
Although he is a tight end, Pitts compares favorably to former Detroit Lions wideout, Calvin Johnson. Pitts boasts similar size to Johnson at 6’6, 239lb. His ability to beat defenders deep shows off his deep threat ability.
Whether the Cardinals trade up remains to be seen. However, if the Cardinals are serious about becoming a contender in 2021, and again, their actions in free agency point to this being a resounding ‘yes,’ then expect them to at least try to break into the top 10 on draft day and snag a corner, receiver, or Pitts.