Arizona Cardinals: What are the pros and cons of trading down in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA;  Alabama head coach Nick Saban stands with Alabama linebacker
Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama head coach Nick Saban stands with Alabama linebacker / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals hold the third overall pick, but general manager Monti Ossenfort might think it would be wiser to trade down.

For many fans of the Arizona Cardinals, it’s Will Anderson Jr or bust. And Anderson would definitely be a remarkable find at third overall. But should the Cards take the bait and select Anderson, or would they be better off trading the third overall pick down so they could accumulate more picks?

You can make an argument for or against trading down. And when covering this topic in the past, I have been a huge proponent of trading down, especially now that the Chicago Bears acquired a ransom of picks from the Carolina Panthers. 

But there are also inevitable drawbacks to trading down. And today, I wanted to go over both. 

Should the Arizona Cardinals trade down or keep the third pick?

First off, the Cardinals would be smart to trade down simply because, despite the amount of cap space, they will inevitably need more assets to fill a roster that’s about to see 30-plus names leave for free agency. 

By trading down, Arizona won’t just get more draft picks in 2023, they will also get younger faster. For a new coaching staff and overall regime, more draft picks will also kickstart the rebuilding process by allowing them to acquire young players who fit the regime’s offensive and defensive systems on the field. 

The drawback? Will Anderson Jr won’t be going to the desert, and he is arguably one of those generational talents at edge. Whoever drafts Anderson will have landed a game-changer, someone who will bring immediate interest to a downtrodden franchise. 

With quarterback Kyler Murray as the face of the Cardinals, but one losing popularity by the week and, at the absolute most, dividing the fanbase, and perhaps even the organization, a player like Anderson has potential to become that new face if Murray continues to flounder. 

Although the Cards will have more picks if they trade down, they are doing so by passing up on a franchise edge rusher. Therefore, there is a sheer upside to trading down, but as you can see, a downside also exists. 

Related. How much cap space do the Cardinals have heading into free agency?. dark