The 2019 NFL Draft is just over a month away, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Arizona Cardinals will be the first team looked at.
Arizona had new coach Steve Wilks come into the fold, as well as rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, but they still limped to a 3-13 record. As a result of the poor season, Wilks was fired and Kliff Kingsbury was brought in to coach the team.
The last-ranked offense in the league struggled with an offensive line that was below par. No running rum was created for star running back David Johnson, who had just 3.6 yards per carry. Rosen struggled at the quarterback position, which was partially on him and partially on the offensive line. Larry Fitzgerald led the team in receiving, but finished with just 740 yards. Fitzgerald has announced he is coming back for another season, while right tackle Marcus Gilbert was acquired from the Steelers to help with the offensive line.
The defense last season didn’t go much better for the Cardinals, as they ranked 26th in the league in points allowed per game. Chandler Jones led the pass rush with 13 sacks, but had no help as no one else had more than 4.5. The linebacker play was inconsistent and Patrick Peterson was the only great player in the secondary. Jordan Hicks was signed to help out their need at linebacker, while Terrell Suggs was brought in to help the pass rush. D.J. Swearinger returns to Arizona to help at the safety position as well. With that being said, there is still a lot of work to be done.
2019 NFL Draft Picks
The Cardinals have 10 picks to help their rebuild in the 2019 NFL Draft.
First Round (one pick): No. 1
Second Round (one pick): No. 33
Third Round (one pick): No. 65
Fourth Round (one pick): No. 103
Fifth Round (one pick): No. 139
Sixth Round (two picks): No. 174, No. 179
Seventh Round (three picks): No. 248, No. 249, No. 254
Offensive guard/center- The Gilbert trade means they should at least be solid at tackle heading into 2019, but they really need to improve on the interior.
Wide receiver- Fitzgerald can’t play forever and there isn’t much behind him on the depth chart. Christian Kirk and Chad Williams are young and have potential, but more is needed.
Quarterback- Rosen struggled in his first year. It is too early to give up on him, unless they are planning to take Kyler Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft, but if his play doesn’t improve, they will have to address it.
Edge rusher- Jones had a great season yet again, but they need more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Terrell Suggs is a short term answer at best.
Defensive linemen- Along with edge rushers, who will probably play outside linebacker in the Cardinals’ 3-4 scheme. Robert Nkemdiche and Vincent Valentine specifically could be upgraded at defensive end.
Secondary depth- Swearinger and Alford being added to the fold helps immensely, but they need a few more players in the secondary whether it be corner or safety.
2019 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 1: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
There are a lot of rumors swirling about the Cardinals wanting Kyler Murray, but for now, it is all a smokescreen. The Cardinals can get the best player in the draft class in Nick Bosa. He was dominant in college, but is rusty, having not played since very early in the college football season. Bosa plays similarly to his brother, Joey, and has all the skills to be a dominant pass rusher for the next decade in the NFL. He can play with his hand on the ground or can learn to rush from a standing position if need be to fit the Cardinals’ defense.
Pick No. 33: Garrett Bradbury, Guard/Center, NC State
Bradbury is one of the best interior linemen in the 2019 NFL Draft and the Cardinals could be able to get him at the top of the second round. For whoever quarterback they might start next season, they need to shore up the offensive line. Bradbury has athleticism and has some room to grow with the game mentally if the Cardinals are willing to invest their time into developing him.
Pick No. 65: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
As mentioned earlier, the Cardinals will want to get secondary depth. Adderley could be the player for them, as he has experience at corner and safety. He also has great athleticism and could be molded into a solid player.