Redrafting the Arizona Cardinals 2020 NFL Draft three years later

2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games
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The Arizona Cardinals received a solid ‘C’ when I graded their 2020 Draft. But what could they have done differently three years ago?

In a recent article, I gave the Arizona Cardinals a solid ‘C’ in their three-year grade of the 2020 Draft. There were obvious misses, but there were two, and there could have been three, solid selections. 

Of course, Isaiah Simmons was one of those picks, snagged at eighth overall, while Josh Jones has been serviceable. Eno Benjamin may have been, at worst, a solid RB2 had former head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim not abruptly cut ties with the then third-year back. 

So in hindsight, what should the Cards have done differently? Here is how their 2020 draft could have gone.

Redrafting the Arizona Cardinals 2020 draft class

8th Overall: Justin Jefferson, WR/LSU

While the Arizona Cardinals recently completed a trade for DeAndre Hopkins that year, they didn’t have much in the passing game next to an aging Larry Fitzgerald, who finished second on the team that season with 54 receptions. 

So imagine a scenario where the Redbirds snagged Justin Jefferson in the first round instead of Isaiah Simmons. What would this dynamic duo have accomplished? I’ll tell you this much: Arizona probably isn’t thinking about moving Hopkins at the moment. 

72nd Overall: Jonah Jackson, OG/Ohio State

While Josh Jones has emerged to at least secure a serviceable backup role, Jonah Jackson went to the Detroit Lions three picks later. Jackson has since started 44 games, and earned a Pro Bowl appearance in 2021, becoming yet another fixture in the Detroit Lions turnaround. 

114th Overall: Harrison Bryant, TE/Florida Atlantic

Once again, the Arizona Cardinals go offense here, taking a tight end in Harrison Bryant, who has since become a fair pass-catcher in Cleveland. While he has just 76 career receptions in three years with the Browns, Bryant boasts a remarkable 70.4% catch percentage. Get him into an offense with a viable quarterback, and he could be an upper-echelon player. 

131st Overall: Tyler Biadasz, C/Wisconsin

Rashard Lawrence was the original pick here, and he has been unable to find much playing time in his first three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. The remedy? Why not center Tyler Biadasz, who logged 45 starts with the Dallas Cowboys and earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2022? Biadasz would have saved Arizona from the Rodney Hudson fiasco that came to the forefront. 

202nd Overall: Krys Barnes, LB/UCLA

You knew this one was coming, right? While Barnes came to the Arizona Cardinals this season as a free agent to join the rotation at linebacker, he went undrafted in 2020. Barnes has since started 24 games in his career, and appeared in 35 of them while the Cards original pick, Evan Weaver, failed to make the final roster. 

222nd Overall: James Robinson, RB/Illinois State

While Eno Benjamin was a solid selection and should still be with the team, there is no denying James Robinson has been one of the best running backs from this draft class. Like Barnes, Robinson was never drafted, but he’s started 32 games in his career and logged 1,000 rushing yards in 2020. 

So now, I’m going to leave this up to you. What are your thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals redraft and would you have drafted any differently? 

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)