NFL Mock Draft: Predicting Round 1 surprises for the Arizona Cardinals

Capital One Orange Bowl - Clemson v Tennessee
Capital One Orange Bowl - Clemson v Tennessee / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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In the NFL Draft, we’re taught to expect the unexpected. So what if the Arizona Cardinals and a few other teams surprised us? Consider the following scenario.

This is one of those mock drafts that are not like the normal mocks I’ve been concocting lately. On a scale of 1 to 10, the likelihood of the way things will play out below are probably less than 1, but it only takes one massive surprise to throw off an entire draft. 

And it’s what we’re looking at today. In the following scenario, the Houston Texans will refrain from drafting a quarterback, throwing off just about everyone’s draft plans. The Arizona Cardinals will pull off a similar move that they did in my previous mock, trading down to the 11th spot with the Tennessee Titans. 

As for who the Cards select in this one, they’re nowhere near my first choice. But, I’m also pretty sure the prospect they roll with will end up going in the Top 15. 

Who did they wind up taking? Keep reading for more. 

CJ Stroud
NFL Combine / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

A surprise-filled Arizona Cardinals and NFL Mock Draft

Carolina Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB/Ohio State

It’s almost a given, with just under two weeks to go before the NFL Draft, that the Carolina Panthers will select C.J. Stroud. Look for him to battle to be the starter in Charlotte from Day One.

Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr., DE/Alabama

The Houston Texans will most likely take a quarterback, but in this exercise, they are throwing us a curveball. Instead of taking a quarterback, Houston will go defense-first with Will Anderson Jr, selecting arguably the top player in the class. 

Tennessee Titans (from ARZ): Bryce Young, QB/Alabama

With the Texans passing on Bryce Young, the Tennessee Titans win the ensuing battle to trade up to the third overall pick and select who they hope is their next franchise quarterback. Young may not play immediately behind Ryan Tannehill, but he will see the field in spot duty.