Arizona Cardinals could do good things during third round of draft
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals could benefit greatly from the pair of 3rd-round picks they'll have to utilize during next month's NFL Draft.
Earlier this month, the Arizona Cardinals were awarded a trio of compensatory draft choices. The most valuable of the three picks will come in Round 3, when general manager Monti Ossenfort will get to nab a prospect with the 96th overall selection.
The Cards will be armed with the 66th overall choice as well when the third round gets underway on April 28th. Selecting four times during the draft's first two nights will provide Ossenfort with a golden opportunity to improve a roster that badly needs an influx of talent.
With the first of the third round selections, Arizona could look to add a center to the offensive line mix. Luke Wypler, a 6 foot 3, 300 pounder, started 13 games for Ohio State last season. Steve Avila, another blocker, is a versatile lineman out of TCU who could also be around at pick #66.
Arizona Cardinals could look to improve on both sides of the ball with their two 3rd-round draft selections
There are a couple of other intriguing possibilities for that choice as well. Moving over to the defensive side of the ball, nose tackle Keeanu Benton racked up 36 tackles (10 for a loss) and 4.5 sacks for the University of Wisconsin in 2022. If the Cardinals front office is coveting a cornerback, D.J. Turner totaled 69 tackles, three interceptions and 17 passes defensed over the past two seasons for the University of Michigan.
Jumping ahead to pick 96, the Cards could have a shot at obtaining a productive defensive end out of USC. Tuli Tuipulotu, a 6 foot 4, 290 pounder, was credited with 46 tackles and an eye-popping 13.5 sacks for the Trojans last fall. Zach Harrison, another pass-rusher, registered 97 tackles (24 for a loss) and 11 sacks in his four campaigns for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
With superstar DeAndre Hopkins quite possibly heading out of town, a wide receiver could also be an option when Arizona utilizes the second of their third-round selections. Trey Palmer, a 6 foot,190 pounder, hauled in 71 passes for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns last year for the University of Nebraska. Marvin Mims, a 5 foot 11, 180 pound pass-catcher, tallied 123 receptions, 2,398 receiving yards and 20 scores in his three seasons at the University of Oklahoma.
(Statistics provided by College Football Reference)