The Texans may ultimately decide what the Arizona Cardinals do with the third pick

Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers
Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals hold the third pick in next week’s draft, but the Houston Texans decisions may influence what Monti Ossenfort and Company do.

While the Arizona Cardinals have a distinct advantage in the 2023 NFL Draft, you can argue that no one may have a bigger advantage than the Houston Texans. The NFL’s youngest franchise has been around for what will be 22 seasons, and you know that they want this season to be one that spells breakthrough for the hard luck organization. 

And depending on what Houston does, it will ultimately spell out what the Cardinals do. If the Texans go with Will Anderson Jr., for example, expect the Cards to react accordingly. But if Houston rolls with a quarterback, there is a chance the Cards scoop up the highly-sought outside linebacker from Alabama. Let’s dissect each scenario. 

Depending on who the Texans pick, the Arizona Cardinals will…

1 - Trade down if Houston selects Will Anderson Jr. 

While this would be a debilitating scenario for Arizona Cardinals fans who want to see Anderson rock out those cool, new uniforms, it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom. With three of the top four quarterbacks remaining, the Cards will at least maximize the third pick’s value with a ransom that should include at least two first round picks, and at least two second round picks from a quarterback-starved team hoping to climb more than a few rungs. 

If this occurs, look for the Cards to snag another pick in the top 50, and perhaps even more in the top 100. Sure, it means a younger football team this year, but it will also spell a lot of hope for the future. 

2 - Draft Will Anderson Jr. or trade down if the Texans select a quarterback

This one gives the Arizona Cardinals the most leverage. They can either stick with the third pick and draft Will Anderson Jr., or they can trade back and still acquire more than a few picks for the 2023 and 2024 drafts. 

From what Ossenfort did in free agency, I still anticipate him trading back. But in all honesty, you never know which players he and head coach Jonathan Gannon have their eyes on until the team is on the clock. 

3 - Trade down regardless of who the Texans pick

In this scenario, Ossenfort and Gannon have their minds made up and it’s irrelevant what the Texans do. No, you won’t see Will Anderson donning the new threads, but you will see more than a few prospects we talked about coming to the desert to turn the Redbirds around. 

While this scenario may not be ideal for those in the ‘No One but Anderson’ camp, it’s one I’m a fan of because it shows us that Ossenfort and Gannon are not interested in letting another team dictate their draft. So if they reveal it was always their intent to trade down, I applaud them. 

Related. Cardinals: 3 teams who could trade for Hopkins before the NFL Draft (Updated). dark

Source: Mysterious Texans complicate how Cardinals operate with No. 3 pick by Tyler Drake,