5 first-round targets for the Cardinals in the 2022 NFL Draft

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Isaiah Spiller
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Isaiah Spiller /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Justyn Ross /

Of the prospects expected to be available in the 2022 NFL Draft, who are some that the Arizona Cardinals should already be thinking about?

Just about halfway through the 2021 season, the Arizona Cardinals are sitting with an impressive 7-1 record. Several of the Cardinals’ recent draft picks from the last few years including Kyler Murray, Byron Murphy, Isaiah Simmons, and Rondale Moore have contributed to the Cardinals’ impressive success during the 2021 campaign.

Looking ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft, Arizona will likely be making their top pick in the bottom third of the first round with how well things are going for them so far this season.

The Cardinals still have a lot of time to figure out which direction they are going to take with their first selection in next year’s draft. But who are some of the 2022 prospects that should already be in the running to be Arizona’s top draft pick next year?

Prospect No. 1

Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports) Ahmad Gardner /

Ahmad Gardner – CB (Cincinnati)

So far this season, the Cardinals have one of the best pass defenses in the entire NFL. After their first eight games, Arizona ranks fourth in the league in passing yards allowed and second in net yards allowed per pass attempt.

However, Robert Alford will be a free agent in 2022, so the Cardinals’ depth at cornerback behind Byron Murphy and Marco Wilson next year is looking like it could be very thin.

Ahmad Gardner is an intriguing cornerback prospect that could potentially make an impact for Arizona as a rookie. Gardner has a lean frame (6-foot-2, 188 pounds), but he also has long arms and they have helped him rack up eight interceptions (including two pick-sixes) and 14 pass breakups in his three years at Cincinnati.