Arizona Cardinals 2023 NFL Draft Day 2 mock (Redbirds keep building in the trenches)

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA;  Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. with NFL commissioner Roger
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. with NFL commissioner Roger / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have four picks in Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Will they use their picks wisely? We think so.

The Arizona Cardinals started off their 2023 NFL Draft with a bang when they snagged Paris Johnson Jr. For once, the Redbirds went with need over glamor, or the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect, and for that, we must applaud general manager Monti Ossenfort. 

So now the question bodes, “Who's coming to the desert next?" For context, the Redbirds have the following selections:

  • 33rd overall
  • 81st overall
  • 94th overall
  • 96th overall

With four picks, Ossenfort can continue to reshape what has become one of the NFL’s lesser-talented rosters. So who do I have him snagging on Day 2? Keep reading for more. 

Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft: Day 2

33rd overall: Keeanu Benton, DT/Wisconsin

The Arizona Cardinals upgraded their offensive line yesterday, so they will swing back around and snag Keeanu Benton, who was one of my top five players the Redbirds could take on Day 2. Like Johnson, look for Benton to start immediately, or at least serve as a sound rotational piece. 

81st overall: Cam Smith, CB/South Carolina

Although Cam Smith would be the 81st pick here, he could easily see a lot of playing time early, thanks to how thin the Cards are at corner. In 2021, Smith showed he could be a ballhawk, logging three interceptions and 11 passes deflected. He also had a fairly decent outing last season. 

94th overall: Juice Scruggs, C/Penn State

At 6’3, 301, Scruggs isn’t the biggest player around, but the Arizona Cardinals need to address the center position sooner than later. When Scruggs falls to them, they could have yet another eventual starter on their hands, though Scruggs would need to win the job from Hjalte Froholdt. 

96th overall: Tyjae Spears, RB/Tulane

In my final mock, I had the Cardinals taking Tyjae Spears, as the smallish back would serve as an excellent complement to James Conner. Since Conner is one of the more injury-prone backs in the game, taking a small, but effective runner like Spears could help preserve the incumbent, and formulate a formidable one-two punch in the backfield. 

Next. Projecting where Paris Johnson Jr. fits into Cardinals offensive line. dark

(Statistics provided by Sports-Reference/CFB)