Final first round draft thoughts for Arizona Cardinals

This is the most critical draft ever for the Arizona Cardinals.

After the all-in approach from Steve Keim in free agency, and the bold hiring of Kliff Kingsbury two years ago, it feels like once again the team has reached it’s finest hour. It’s the “put-up or shut-up” mode for both Keim and Kingsbury headed into this upcoming season. Mock draft season has raged on our minds for months, and there have been debates as hot as mid-July days in the desert about who should be selected with the first round pick.

I have tried to word and re-word my thoughts, but there is no other way to say it. The Arizona Cardinals should NOT draft a wide receiver in the first round. Yes, the offense was rather pathetic down the stretch last year. However, anyone knows that Kingsbury’s play-calling and lack of a physical element to the team is the reason for their demise. Everyone was undisciplined, including the offensive line with 32 false starts.

Any new wide receiver won’t be something that Kingsbury will be able to just throw in to the offense and magically “work”. Wasn’t that the plan with Andy Isabella? All the receivers on the roster last year were acquired during the Kingsbury era (except Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald).  I still thoroughly believe that Kyler Murray makes Kingsbury, not the other way around. So just wait until round 2 to grab a pass catcher, as there are better choices at 16.

The Arizona Cardinals need to go with either RB or CB.

The CB market is heating up by the hour it seems, and by the time Arizona picks at 16, all the top ones may be gone. On the other hand, the RB position group won’t be touched at all. The Cardinals can have their most physical runner ever with Najee Harris, or make Travis Etienne’s dream come true at 16.  Also, filling the big hole in the secondary still remains a priority for the team,.

Before you’re paralyzed with the stigma that a RB in round one is bad, take a look at what first round running backs have done for their teams the last few years (Thanks to the Locked on Cardinals Podcast for this info)

  • 2019: Josh Jacobs to the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders- made playoffs within 2 years
  • 2018: Sony Michel to the New England Patriots- scored winning TD in AFCCG
  • 2017: Leonard Fournette to the Jacksonville Jaguars- 1,000 yard rusher and undeniably a factor in their run to the AFCCG
  • 2017: Christian McCaffery to the Carolina Panthers- “Run CmC” has been one of the most dominant players at his position when healthy,
  • 2016: Ezekiel Elliot to the Dallas Cowboys- Over 6,000 career rushing yards in five years, including a huge 1,631  yards his rookie season.

These are the reasons that the Arizona Cardinals should go with Harris/ Etienne or another CB. Be smart, Steve Keim and company.