Arizona Cardinals are in danger of handing Will Anderson Jr to a rival

Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA;  Kansas State quarterback Will Howard (18) throws under pressure
Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kansas State quarterback Will Howard (18) throws under pressure / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals would be smart to trade down in the 2023 NFL Draft, but they must stay ahead of a division rival in the process.

The Arizona Cardinals are picking third in a quarterback-rich draft class. Fortunately for the Redbirds, they believe Kyler Murray can still be the guy in the desert, so unless they throw us a knuckleball, don’t expect them to take a quarterback. 

However, there are quarterback-needy teams behind them, most notably the Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, and Atlanta Falcons. While the Raiders and Falcons have at least bridge QB1s on their respective rosters, don’t count them out. And because of that, they could entice general manager Monti Ossenfort with a lucrative trade package. 

But this would be a mistake on Ossenfort’s part, since it would basically mean passing on Will Anderson Jr. Their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks, are picking fifth in the upcoming draft, and Seattle just happens to need an edge rusher. 

Arizona Cardinals cannot hand Will Anderson Jr. to a division rival

Arizona would be smart to swap places with the Indianapolis Colts, who are picking at number four overall. Because the Colts could use a strong developmental prospect loaded with potential like Will Levis or Anthony Richardson, they could move up to third and give Arizona a ransom similar to what the Redbirds acquired back in 1998. 

Further, it would allow the Cardinals to snag Anderson, who can develop into a nightmare for Geno Smith or anyone else lining up behind center for the Seahawks. On the other end of the equation, if the Cards traded back to the seventh or eighth overall picks and Seattle scoops up Anderson, then Big Red will deal with the burden of facing a potentially generational player twice a year. 

Not only would Anderson’s presence benefit the Cardinals if they either stood pat with the third overall pick and snagged him or traded back just one spot to take the premier pass rusher, they would also inconvenience a division rival. If they trade back too far, then the Seahawks can easily inconvenience the Cards. 

Related. 3 can’t miss prospects Cardinals must consider in 2023 NFL Draft. dark