Arizona Cardinals could target edge rusher during first round of 2024 draft

The Arizona Cardinals defense will still be in desperate need of a blue-chip pass rusher when the 2024 NFL Draft rolls around next April.
Ole Miss v Alabama
Ole Miss v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Several individuals have contributed to the Arizona Cardinals pass rush over the past eight weeks. At the moment, veterans Dennis Gardeck and Victor Dimukeje lead the team with four sacks apiece. Others like Zaven Collins (3.5), Dante Stills (2.5) and Kevin Strong (2.5) have also provided pressure for the Cards defensive unit.

Simply put, the Cards must do a whole lot better. That particular area of the roster will need to be a priority of the front office next offseason. Monti Ossenfort will have to shore up several positions, but a top-notch edge rusher should be at or near the top of the general manager's wish list.

Luckily for the Cardinals, a plethora of pass-rushing talent could be available for the club when the 2024 NFL Draft rolls around. Ossenfort and his cohorts ignored the pleas of many Redbirds fans last April, electing to pass on stud sack specialist Will Anderson Jr. It's highly doubtful that management would choose to ignore that all-important sector of the defense again during next year's three-day event.

Working in Arizona's favor is the fact that the organization will have a pair of first-round selections at their disposal. Along with the franchise's own pick, Ossenfort also finagled an additional opening-round choice out of the Houston Texans. When all is said and done, "Big Red" could potentially have two top-20 selections to work with next spring.

The NFL Draft will have several intriguing pass-rushing prospects to offer the Arizona Cardinals in 2024

One edge rusher who is working his way up draft boards is Laiatu Latu, a 22-year-old out of UCLA. In nine games this season, the 6 foot 4, 265 pounder has racked up an eye-popping 11 sacks. Latu has already topped his total from last year, when he was credited with 10.5 sacks for the Bruins defense.

Another pass rusher who could be targeted by the Cards is Dallas Turner, an outside linebacker out of the University of Alabama. In 33 total appearances for the school, the 6 foot 4, 245 pounder has registered 19.5 sacks. It would be smart for Ossenfort to make sure he doesn't let another talented Crimson Tide edge rusher (Anderson being the first) slip through his grasp for the second consecutive offseason.

Jared Verse, a 23-year-old out of Florida State University, is yet another intriguing option. In 2022, the 6 foot 4, 260 pounder tallied nine sacks in 12 contests. In his nine appearances this fall, Verse is at 4.5 sacks and counting for the Seminoles.

One last prospect worth mentioning is Bralen Trice, a 6 foot 4, 260 pounder out of the University of Washington. In the 28 matchups he has dressed for, the youngster has totaled 14 sacks for the Huskies. Getting drafted by the Cardinals would mean a homecoming for Trice, a 22-year-old who was born in Phoenix.


(Statistics provided by College Football Reference)