The 2021 NFL Draft begins on April 29, which means that The Game Haus will be writing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be evaluated heading into this year’s draft, as our staff recaps their last season, highlights their needs and pinpoints their potential 2021 NFL Draft targets.
The Arizona Cardinals are the subject of today’s 2021 NFL Draft profile.
The Arizona Cardinals refused to give ground in the toughest division in football and their offseason speaks to that. They managed to sign superstar defensive end J.J. Watt, wide receiver A.J. Green, who is beyond Pro Bowl-level when healthy and Super Bowl hero cornerback Malcolm Butler. They even stepped up their kicking game by signing long-time Lions kicker Matt Prater.
The team may have gotten tougher, but so did the rest of the division. Here is how they could use their draft picks to fill the holes they have as they try and come out on top of the NFC West.
2021 NFL Picks
Arizona will have two picks to use in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
First Round (one pick): No. 16
Second Round (one pick): No. 49
Third Round (zero picks):
Interior offensive line- Rodney Hudson is a great addition to the offensive line, but there is still work to be done on the interior. This is such a deep draft for offensive linemen, it would be silly for the Cardinals not to grab someone just incase the Hudson trade does not pan out.
Cornerback- Losing Patrick Peterson is not ideal, but the contract he would have liked is just too rich for the kind of building Arizona is trying to do right now. Especially after signing J.J. Watt. It is time to go back to the well and find their next ball-hawk corner in the draft.
Running back- The Cardinals lost Kenyan Drake in the offseason and did not supplement this loss in free agency. Simply put, they need a new featured running back sooner than later.
Pass catcher- This team is just as much about explosive offense as explosive defense. Murray needs to grow with some pass catchers, not just forge chemistry with signed players. A tight end or a wide receiver works here, as long as they are the best available.
2021 Draft Targets
Pick No. 16: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Patrick Surtain II is the ideal pick and Caleb Farley is also a great option, but Jaycee Horn is rising up draft boards quickly. One of the three of them should be available, but their first round pick should be spent on a cornerback regardless, because the talent drop-off is substantial in later rounds.
Horn is a bit of an unknown commodity since he opted out of the 2020 season. He was named to the All-SEC team in 2019, however, after starting every game during that season. He also has an NFL bloodline, as his father, Joe Horn, was an NFL corner. The Cardinals have the chance to make a lot of teams jealous, regardless of which corner they take, but Horn is NFL-ready and had a great pro day.
Pick No. 49: Javonte Williams, RB, UNC
There is a shortage of sure-fire running back talent in this draft, but Javonte Williams is as close as a team can get in the second round. In the strange, stunted 2020 college football season, Williams got some play as a possible Heisman Trophy contender.
His stat-padding ways at UNC will likely lead to him being taken around the beginning-to-middle of the second round as teams cannot pass up his eye-popping numbers. Even though he shared carries with another 2021 NFL Draft prospect, Michael Carter, Williams stood out. The Cardinals need a back and they should not hesitate to take the best available before the later rounds begin.
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