Arizona Cardinals: What are the pros and cons of standing pat at number three overall?

2021 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2021 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

With the third pick in April’s draft, the Arizona Cardinals could land someone like a game-changing pass rusher in Will Anderson Jr.

We are roughly a month and a half away from the 2023 NFL Draft, and your guess of what the Arizona Cardinals are going to do is as good as mine. In other words, none of us have any idea. 

But that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. Earlier today, I wrote about the pros and cons of the Arizona Cardinals trading down in this year’s draft. 

Now, here’s the second half of that debate: The pros and cons of sticking to the third overall pick. Why would Big Red stand pat at number three when they could probably acquire a ransom of draft picks from a quarterback-needy team like the Las Vegas Raiders? Keep reading for more. 

Should the Arizona Cardinals stick to the third overall selection?

Following the Jalen Ramsey trade earlier today, the less-than blockbuster result could mean the Cardinals hang onto star receiver DeAndre Hopkins after all. And if that’s the case, the Cards “rebuild” will look even more like a reload instead. 

With the third overall pick, a team with guys like Hopkins, Marquise Brown, and Greg Dortch, among other pass-catchers, could snag a big-time game-changer like Will Anderson Jr. Remember, this team also has three compensatory picks, so the need to trade Hopkins for a couple of mid-round selections now looks less than necessary. 

Further, if the Redbirds end up with a premier edge rusher like Anderson, they just added a dynamic piece to a growing puzzle on defense. One that includes plenty of talent. 

The downside? This team still has to fill a lot of holes on the roster, and one free agency period probably won’t fill all those holes. At least not with young players who would fit head coach Jonathan Gannon’s and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing’s systems. 

And if they do trade Hopkins for draft picks, even Day 3 picks, then the Cardinals will look as though they’re heading more into the direction of a rebuild instead of a reload. Trading down would give that rebuilding team a higher quantity of draft picks in a talent-rich class, while standing pat will land you just one marquee player. 

Overall, there are pros to staying at three, but there are also cons. Once free agency rolls around, we will have a greater understanding of what would make for the better route general manager Monti Ossenfort wants to take this ship. 

Offseason News. Creation of salary-cap space indicates Cardinals want to contend. dark