Cardinals 2022 Draft: Three-round mock to remain an NFC contender

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Roger McCreary
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Roger McCreary /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK) Matthew Butler /

Third Round (Pick No. 87)

Matthew Butler – DL (Tennessee)

With the last pick of this mock draft, I was really torn. Do I address the glaring run defense unit and neglect the pass rush, or do I do the opposite and say the Cardinals will stop the run on the way to the quarterback? Then, it dawned on me, why not do both with one selection? Enter, Matthew Butler.

While many Cardinals fans are still hurting from a player with the initials of “M.B.,” this is quite different. Matthew Butler would provide a very much-needed presence on the Cardinals front seven. In both the run game and in disrupting the pass.

Thanks to the pandemic, some college prospects got an extra year of eligibility, and boy oh boy did Butler take advantage of that.

Buttler enjoyed a breakout year with the Volunteers recording 47 tackles and five sacks playing all over the Vol’s defensive line. Bursting through gaps to make plays in the backfield with his quickness and finesse.

Butler does have some length concerns that could hinder him at the next level in run contain, but given his work ethic and refined skillset for a college prospect, I have little doubt that he will be able to adjust to the NFL where everyone is bigger, faster, stronger.

In the Cardinals’ current defensive scheme, Butler will likely take over the role of one Zach Allen who could possibly be a trade candidate for the Cards. Which could in turn add draft capital to this team for the future. Win-win in that case.

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