Top 3 moves the Arizona Cardinals MUST make before the 2023 Draft (Updated)

Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) reacts against the
Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3) reacts against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals need a culture change quickly, and one way to do that is to set the stage for an exciting NFL Draft.

The Arizona Cardinals have several transactions that they would do well to make in the final week and a half before the 2023 NFL Draft. They have two players who clearly want out of town, and there is still at least one gaping hole at an important position to be addressed. 

So how should the Cardinals go about making these moves? Keep reading for more. 

3 moves the Arizona Cardinals MUST make

1 - Trade Budda Baker

If the Arizona Cardinals trade the former All-Pro, they will acquire a pick at the back end of the first round in the 2023 NFL Draft, and since he’s still in his prime, expect a first in 2024, too. For a general manager that has shown every implication to build through the draft, swapping Baker for a pair of firsts in back-to-back seasons should be an easy decision

Arizona could also land additional compensation, so don’t be surprised if they get another second or even a third round pick thrown in there, too, for 2023. If you’re doing the math, a first and let’s say they get a third for 2023, those eight picks they already have will increase to 10. 

2 - Trade DeAndre Hopkins

You won’t see DeAndre Hopkins in a cardinal and white uniform this season. So if Hopkins is still on the roster by training camp, forget about him showing up, he’ll be working out alone as he’s already been doing. 

He’s also shown every indication of either wanting to play for the Buffalo Bills or the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Since that’s the case, Ossenfort should be picking up the phone and calling Brett Veach and Brandon Beane and asking for his desired trade compensation to get this deal done. 

3 - Sign a viable free agent center

While the Arizona Cardinals will draft a center at some point, it doesn’t hurt to sign a veteran backup, or even someone to fill in as a starter for a few seasons. Connor McGovern is one name still out there, and Ossenfort needs to call up the guy’s agent pronto. 

Once they reach a deal, an already deep offensive line will be laden with serviceable veteran talent across all five positions, and they will also have more than a few solid backups should a starter go down with an injury. This would at least give whoever lines up under center at any point in the season adequate protection. 

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