The Arizona Cardinals did something they didn’t quite pull off in recent drafts: They drafted for need over glamor, which is rare during the Steve Keim Era.
On Thursday, Arizona Cardinals traded away their first-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Kyler Murray‘s old college teammate, Marquise Brown. In round two, they selected John Mackey Award winner Trey McBride out of Colorado State. And it could not have been a better draft pick at Number 55.
Expect McBride, who recorded 90 receptions and over 1,100 receiving yards in 2021, to become an immediate contributor to the Cardinals’ passing game. And expect head coach Kliff Kingsbury to utilize him near the goal line.
What to expect from the Arizona Cardinals newest edge rushers
Thomas displays prototypical size at 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds. While he logged just 20 career sacks in his college career, he also totaled 71 tackles, 20 of which resulted in a loss. Look for Thomas to immediately contribute to the team’s stagnant run defense. And don’t be surprised if he develops into a decent pass rusher at the NFL level.
At 6-foot-5, 258 pounds, Sanders also displays the physique of an elite pass rusher. Also, like Thomas, he is not a sack artist. However, sometimes disrupting plays for a living does not appear on the stat sheet.
With a playing style reminiscent of Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Rashan Gary, Sanders can develop into a rotational piece this season with one job, and that is to make opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable.
Overall, it was a solid Day 2 for the Cardinals. McBride will step in and produce immediately as a TE2. And while neither Thomas nor Sanders lit up the stat sheet, their sheer size and natural athletic ability may take them a long way. Especially if Thomas continues to dominate in the run game.