Next year's NFL Draft has the potential to be an exciting one for the Arizona Cardinals. Thanks to Monti Ossenfort, the club is now armed with a pair of blue-chip draft choices in 2024. In fact, both of the picks could be at or near the top of Round 1 if the Redbirds and Houston Texans perform as badly as expected this coming fall.
University of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye could be one of the two selections. Both Ossenfort and new Cards head Jonathan Gannon have zero ties to quarterback Kyler Murray, and the new regime could ultimately elect to get what they can for the diminutive signal-caller, and bring in an exciting prospect like Maye as a replacement.
Marvin Harrison Jr., a stud wide receiver out of Ohio State University, could also be targeted. Arizona should be in the market for a number-one wideout, now that five-time Pro Bowler DeAndre Hopkins will reportedly be catching passes for the Tennessee Titans.
While Maye and Harrison are certainly attractive options, there's another intriguing youngster who could be on the Cardinals radar when the '24 draft rolls around. Kool-Aid McKinstry, a highly-touted cornerback out of the University of Alabama, has the tools to be the next Patrick Peterson. Take a look at the squad's current depth at corner, and you'll see why Ossenfort could make drafting the exciting McKinstry a priority.
Arizona Cardinals could use an infusion of talent at the cornerback position
At the moment, third-year pro Marco Wilson is the Cards' top cover guy. Others like Antonio Hamilton Sr., Garrett Williams, Kei'Trel Clark, Christian Matthew, Kris Boyd, Rashad Fenton, Dylan Mabin, Bobby Price, and Kyler McMichael will compete for playing time. Not an impressive group, to say the least.
Add a shutdown cornerback like McKinstry to the mix, and suddenly Arizona may have something. Not only on the playing field, but likely off of it as well. Imagine the marketing that Media Relations Vice President Mark Dalton could do with a young man who's nickname is "Kool-Aid".
Last fall, McKinstry racked up 35 tackles, 15 pass breakups, an interception and a sack in 13 appearances for the Crimson Tide. Those numbers will likely grow when the 6 foot,180 pounder takes the field for his third and likely final campaign with the school in 2023.
Ossenfort's wheeling and dealing has set the franchise up for future success. The moves that are currently being made are designed to eventually lead to a Super Bowl championship. The Cardinals front office would be wise to make the up and coming McKinstry a part of the plan.
(Statistics provided by College Football Reference)