Top 5 players the Arizona Cardinals may draft in the first round in 2023
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals could stick with the third overall pick, or they could trade down, collect more picks, and go with someone in the middle of the first.
The Arizona Cardinals could go in many different directions when the 2023 NFL Draft commences on April 27th. If the Cards stay put at third overall, they could end up taking edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. But if Anderson goes to either the Carolina Panthers or Houston Texans, there is still plenty of talent for the Redbirds to consider.
So who are the likeliest candidates for the Cards to roll with? Keep reading to find out.
5 likeliest players the Arizona Cardinals will take in the first round
1 - Will Anderson Jr., Edge/Alabama
Will Anderson Jr. should be the top player on general manager Monti Ossenfort’s board. And if the Texans go with a quarterback AND if the Cardinals opt to stick with the third overall pick, expect Anderson to don those cool, new uniforms coming to the desert about three days from now.
2 - Devon Witherspoon, CB/Illinois
Productivity defined Devon Witherspoon last season, and if Ossenfort trades down to between the seventh and 11th selections, expect him to be there if the Detroit Lions opt to pass up on the talented corner from Illinois. If Witherspoon picks up where he left off in his final collegiate season, look for him to open the season as the CB1 if the Cards land him.
3 - Christian Gonzalez, CB/Oregon
Christian Gonzalez had a year to remember in 2022, and he showed game breaking ability with his four interceptions and 118 return yards. If the Cards trade down past the 11th pick, there is a good chance Gonzalez is their man.
4 - Quentin Johnston, WR/TCU
I’ve been hyping up Quentin Johnston quite a bit since the Arizona Cardinals met with him. And while it makes sense that many in the Red Sea want to see Ossenfort go with defense here, Johnston could immediately fill the gap DeAndre Hopkins is about to leave behind.
5 - Brian Branch, S/Alabama
If Budda Baker is finished with the Arizona Cardinals, then they need to consider drafting a safety early. Brian Branch could be his replacement, and it’s likely Big Red could get him in the back end of the first round - obviously, through compensation they would get should Ossenfort trade Baker before the draft.
If the Cards snag Branch, then he could form a remarkable tandem with Jalen Thompson, and the Redbirds wouldn’t miss a beat. And best yet, the younger Branch would be an overall better, and more cost-effective, fit for this rebuild.
(Statistics provided by Sports-Reference/CFB)