The Arizona Cardinals season hasn’t gone the way they envisioned, and after losing their last three games, the Redbirds currently sit at 1-5. Therefore, with the season now officially one-third of the way finished, the Cards will end up with a 3-14 record if they continue at this pace, which will, with all things being equal, give them the fourth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Arizona also has the Houston Texans first pick thanks to Monti Ossenfort’s draft day trade this past April. This also gives the Cardinals the thirteenth pick in the draft, and in total, a pair of top-fifteen picks.
Fans who wanted to see the team tank for Caleb Williams will be disappointed, but given his uninspiring performance this past week, perhaps it’s better to see the Cards not end up with a top-two pick. Besides, if the Cardinals maintain their current draft position, there is still plenty of game-breaking talent.
Arizona Cardinals can still snag a pair of future star players with two top-fifteen picks
It’s clear that the Cardinals need a top-notch EDGE rusher, despite having solid but unspectacular talent at the position this season. Alabama’s Dallas Turner should be there, as should Jared Verse.
A lot of fans wanted to see the Cards snag Will Anderson Jr. last year, so Turner is a sound consolation prize. So far this season, Turner has an eye-popping 9.5 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks, plus two forced fumbles in seven games.
Verse isn’t holding up as well, with just 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. However, the stat sheet doesn’t tell the entire story with Verse, as his 80.7 pass-rush grade per PFF shows us he’s still making things difficult for opposing quarterbacks.
Tight end Brock Bowers is also an option with Zach Ertz potentially going elsewhere next year. At midseason, Bowers has 41 catches for 567 yards, and four touchdowns, and he’s also run the ball six times for 28 yards, and a score. This indicates that if the Cardinals want to continue focusing on running the ball, they would have a great hybrid back (or H-back) in Bowers.
If the Cards decide not to retain Marquise Brown, then they could also look for another receiver. Malik Nabers is one to watch, as he’s snagged 52 catches, 860 yards, and seven touchdowns in LSU’s first seven games this season. He’s a big-play threat with decent size who would complement Michael Wilson well.
(Statistics provided by College-Football-Reference, grades provided by PFF [subscription])