Arizona Cardinals can move back and still draft edge-rusher in first round

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The Arizona Cardinals can drop down a few spots in round 1 and still come away with a prospect who can bring down opposing quarterbacks.

The 2023 NFL campaign is six months away, and the Arizona Cardinals are in possession of one of the least-talented rosters in the league. After doing very little in free agency, the club's new front office will be looking to cash in when next month's draft rolls around.

A squad with as many weaknesses as the Cardinals have needs to obtain a plethora of picks to get better. The phone of Monti Ossenfort, Arizona's first-year general manager, has likely been ringing off of the hook. Quarterback-needy teams would love to acquire Arizona's 3rd-overall selection, a move that would insure those clubs of walking away with one of the nation's top-three signal-callers.

One of the biggest areas of concern for the Cards is the edge-rusher position. Will Anderson Jr., the University of Alabama linebacker, would fill that need in a huge way for defensive coordinator Nick Rallis. Most feel that Ossenfort will be passing on the stud sack-specialist when he agrees to trade down, a maneuver that should occur sometime between now and April 27th.

There's is a unique situation, however, that would allow the Redbirds to move back and still add Anderson Jr. to the defense. The Indianapolis Colts, sitting at #4-overall, are in dire need of a passer. Moving up one slot to where the Cardinals are currently perched would guarantee that the Colts will come out of Round 1 with one of the top three quarterbacks.

Who the Arizona Cardinals will draft in round 1 is completely up in the air at this point

In that scenario, Arizona would still be able to grab Anderson Jr. with the fourth choice, and finagle what should be some fairly-enticing compensation out of Indy to boot. If internet scuttlebutt is true, a large segment of the "Red Sea" would be completely satisfied if that particular agreement between the Cards and the Colts was reached.

If the Cardinals were to move down further in the opening round, there will be additional edge-rushers to choose from. None are of Anderson Jr.'s caliber, mind you, but the alternatives are certainly impressive defenders in their own right.

The name that has been bandied about the most is Tyree Wilson, the 6 foot 6, 275 pound defensive end out of Texas Tech University. Over the past two seasons, last fall's First-Team All-American racked up 99 tackles (27.5 for a loss) and 14 sacks for the Red Raiders. The freakishly-talented Wilson would help Arizona make up for the losses of J.J. Watt (retirement) and Zach Allen (free agency).

Clemson University's Myles Murphy would also be a fantastic addition. In his three collegiate campaigns, the 6 foot 5, 275 pounder totaled 116 tackles (36 for a loss) and 18.5 sacks for the Tigers. Another youngster worth keeping an eye on is Lukas Van Ness, the defensive end who tallied 70 tackles (19 for a loss) and 13 sacks during his two years at the University of Iowa. Those who follow the Cardinals have another full month to agonize over who the organization's top pick will be.

Related. 5 defensive ends Cardinals could consider in the 2023 NFL Draft. dark

(Statistics provided by College Football Reference)