A strong 2024 draft class meant the Arizona Cardinals never needed to tank

At 3-10, we know the Arizona Cardinals were not a good football team, but the record also made it clear they weren’t tanking to land a high draft pick.
Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Arizona Cardinals cornerback Kei'Trel Clark (L) and
Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Kei'Trel Clark (L) and / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals are 3-10, and unless some miracle occurs in Week 15 vs. the San Francisco 49ers, they will fall to 3-11. The 11th loss will officially eliminate them from playoff contention (yeah, they’re mathematically still in it), assuming it doesn’t happen by default during their bye week, and it will all but guarantee them a top 10 pick. 

However, the remaining schedule shows us two games the Cards can still realistically win: Week 16 at the Chicago Bears, and Week 18 vs. the Seattle Seahawks both look promising, even as the latter continues to battle for a playoff spot. While the Cards can technically finish the year 7-10, it’s likely their ceiling sits at 5-12, given how tough the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles are. 

A 5-12 record may certainly knock this team out of securing a top-five pick, depending on what the other bottom-dwellers in the league do. Should we panic that they most likely wouldn’t get Marvin Harrison Jr. in this situation? Absolutely not, given how deep not only the receiver class is, but the entire 2024 draft class.

The 2024 draft class was too deep for the Arizona Cardinals to tank

Through 13 weeks, the Cardinals have given us zero indication they were interested in replacing quarterback Kyler Murray with anyone, so that alone put dents into the so-called tanking. Now that most of the 2023 NCAA season is history, there are also more than a few receivers available like Malik Nabers, Keon Coleman, Rome Odunze, and Xavier Worthy. Nabers is the most intriguing, and his numbers are on par with Harrison’s. 

The Cards also need to upgrade their offensive line, and there is more than just Olu Fashanu and Joe Alt out there that will go in the first round. JC Latham, Taliese Fuaga (whom Tankathon is currently mocking to the Cardinals), Graham Barton, Amarius Mims, and Kingsley Suamataia comprise one of the best classes at the position in recent memory.

Receiver and tackle seem to be the most pressing needs for the Arizona Cardinals offense, and upgrading both positions would be a huge benefit for Kyler Murray. Luckily, both positions are so rich with talent that it’s now clear tanking was never necessary thanks to the number of first-round caliber talent at both positions should the Cards opt to go in that direction.