3 - Puka Nacua, WR, 168th overall
- Original Pick: Owen Pappoe, LB
Yes, the Arizona Cardinals still roll with Michael Wilson in the third round, but they solve their issues at wide receiver in one draft by swinging around and snagging Puka Nacua with the 168th overall pick, over Owen Pappoe. Nacua went nine picks behind the linebacker, so he was still on the board when the Cards made the selection in April.
At 6’2, 205 pounds, Nacua brings a good deal of size, just like Wilson. And while he probably wouldn’t have 58 receptions on 82 targets in the desert with Joshua Dobbs at quarterback, he would nonetheless remain an effective player. Even if he were posting numbers similar to what we’ve seen from Wilson so far, Nacua would prove to be an integral part of the offense moving forward.
Overall, the Cardinals haven’t necessarily swung and missed just yet, as it takes a few seasons to grade a draft. But with pedestrian early returns from Ojulari, Gaines, and Pappoe, the Redbirds had a few better options that they didn’t take advantage of.
(Statistics and information provided by Pro-Football-Reference. Other statistics and player grades provided by PFF [subscription])