The Arizona Cardinals pick third in the 2023 NFL Draft, and there are a few remarkable scenarios that can occur for the maligned organization.
The Arizona Cardinals have not been the most successful team in recent drafts, having fumbled a plethora of picks during the Steve Keim era. Now that Monti Ossenfort is in charge and the Cards appear to be in rebuilding mode, this franchise can potentially turn a new page.
Clearly, Arizona needs to give itself the best possible scenario to pull off a successful draft. And while we won’t gauge its overall success until three to five seasons down the road, we can point to specific scenarios that will put the Cards in the best possible case to come away with a good draft haul. Here are the three best-case scenarios.
1 – Arizona Cardinals trade DeAndre Hopkins for multiple picks
With DeAndre Hopkins’ “no-trade clause” voided thanks to his suspension regarding PEDs, the Cardinals could get an earlier-than-projected pick in the first round if they trade him to a non-playoff team from 2022. Either way, Arizona can maximize the deal if they come to an agreement to ship Hopkins out of the desert for multiple draft picks, preferably those in the early to mid rounds.
While this may seem as a bad scenario to Hopkins backers, moving the 30-year-old for younger talent is in the best interest of a rebuilding football team. Sure, Ossenfort would need to make sensible picks, but moving Hopkins to the right team for multiple selections will help kickstart this rebuilding process.
2 – Cardinals draft either Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter
Ideally, the Arizona Cardinals hold onto the third pick to select either edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. or defensive tackle Jalen Carter. Fans would be content with either player who will immediately bolster an already young defense.
Barring anything unforeseen, either Anderson or Carter look like surefire picks who will enjoy long, successful NFL careers. And to bring one to the desert will excite a fanbase that has grown used to the routine disappointment that Steve Keim brought between 2013 and 2022 in most seasons.
3 – Cards gain several compensatory picks
With just five selections 10 weeks before the draft, the Arizona Cardinals would like more if they plan on flooding the team with youth. We already discussed the Hopkins trade and what it can bring, but there are also compensatory picks.
We won’t likely know how many the Cardinals will have until March, but Over the Cap projects the Redbirds will snag at least three: One in the third round, another in the fifth, and a final pick in the sixth.
Even without trading for potential picks, landing three compensatory picks would benefit Arizona. And if they can ship Hopkins somewhere for two more selections, the 2023 NFL Draft will be a fun event for the Red Sea.
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