Why the Cardinals should trade their first-round draft pick in 2022

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Arizona Cardinals need to go all-in during the 2022 offseason and follow the lead of the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams.

Recently, the Arizona Cardinals have built themselves a championship window. Unfortunately, that window got increasingly smaller in the second half of the 2021 season and culminated in their playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams (who are now in Super Bowl LVI). Arizona looked to have cashed in on adding J.J. Watt, James Conner, and A.J. Green last offseason.

The one fatal flaw of the Cardinals’ 2021 offseason was the decision to use their first-round draft pick on former Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins. That choice hemorrhaged a lot of progress that Arizona had recently made. So with their division rivals in the big game this season, the Cardinals need to copy the Rams during the 2022 offseason and trade for already established players.

Arizona general manager Steve Keim hasn’t been very successful with the team’s first-round draft picks in the past anyway, so what’s the use in trying to select a rookie in the first round this year if he’s never going to see the field?

There are tons of players the Arizona Cardinals could trade for in 2022

The Cardinals went 11-6 and were a playoff team in 2021. So how come it feels like they have so many holes on their roster?

Cornerback seems to be a bleeding position that needs to be bandaged quickly (and yes, letting Patrick Peterson walk was still the right choice). Jaire Alexander would be a dream target for Arizona as the Green Bay Packers are currently projected to be more than $50 million over the cap, and they’re still trying to bring back Aaron Rodgers.

The lack of a defensive tackle in the middle after Watt went down resulted in the Cardinals getting steamrolled on the ground during the 2021 campaign. Akiem Hicks was a possible trade target in 2021 that would’ve done wonders for Arizona. But Hicks will be a free agent this year, so the Cardinals should consider spending some money to get him in the desert.

Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, the Rams, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and Indianapolis Colts are all currently without a selection in the first round. If there were a player or two in the NFL that Keim wanted to trade for, he would have the upper hand in these negotiations over the teams that don’t currently have a first-round pick.

If Keim does strike a trade for a big-time star player this year, it could put the Cardinals in a position of power to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history next season.

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