2 - Ivan Pace Jr., LB, 122nd overall
- Original Pick: Jon Gaines, C/G
When it became clear Ivan Pace wasn’t going to be drafted, it was a shocker. The Arizona Cardinals could have signed the former Cincinnati Bearcat right after the draft, but the Minnesota Vikings beat everyone to the punch. In this scenario, the Arizona Cardinals would take Pace in the fourth round, bypassing offensive lineman Jon Gaines II, who ended up missing all of 2023.
So far in 2023, Pace ranks 16th out of 82 linebackers with a 78.6 PFF Grade, and he’s already recorded an astounding 11 stops. He also has 27 total tackles, one sack, and he’s also been fair in pass coverage, allowing an 87.1 passer rating.
Pace hasn’t done anything to jump off the charts, but he would have brought more value than Gaines, or even fifth-round pick and fellow linebacker Owen Pappoe. However, there was one player drafted in the fifth round after Pappoe who the Cards scooped up in the do-over.