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Cardinals Mock Draft Tracker 2018: Version 1.0

Posted Mar 29, 2018

Lamar Jackson, others linked to team by draft analysts

Players linked to the Cardinals in mock drafts include Iowa CB Josh Jackson (left), Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (center) and Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey.

The draft is less than a month away, and as free agency settles down, the Cardinals’ remaining needs have come into clearer focus. There is one position above all dominating the conversation, as the signing of Sam Bradford has not quieted the chatter of a possible quarterback addition in the draft. Here is a look at whom some of the analysts are linking to the Cardinals at No. 15 in the first round:

QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville (picked by Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN; Will Brinson, CBS Sports; Dane Brugler, NFL Draft Scout): This is becoming a more popular connection as the draft gets closer. Jackson is not generally lumped in with the top four quarterback prospects, and if that quartet goes early, he could be the best signal-caller available at No. 15. Jackson has elite athleticism and a strong arm, but some scouts are concerned about his accuracy and durability.

OT Connor Williams, Texas (picked by Charles Davis, NFL.com; Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com; Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated): The Cardinals seemingly found a cornerstone offensive tackle in the first round three years ago when they drafted D.J. Humphries. Andre Smith has been signed to play right tackle this season, but is 31 and on a two-year deal. The team would love to have a pair of young, talented bookends on the offensive line. Williams has the requisite talent to become a stalwart on an NFL line.

CB Josh Jackson, Iowa (picked by Danny Kelly, The Ringer; Sean Wagner-McGough, CBS Sports): Tramon Williams signed with the Packers in free agency, leaving the Cardinals with a hole at the No. 2 cornerback spot opposite of Patrick Peterson. If the Cardinals don’t take a quarterback, this position makes a lot of sense. Jackson had a fantastic 2017, intercepting eight passes and returning two of them for touchdowns. It was his only year as a starter in college football.

QB Josh Allen, Wyoming (picked by Pete Prisco, CBS Sports; Vinny Iyer, Sporting News): There might not be a quarterback in the class with more impressive physical tools, as Allen has wowed with his strong arm in pre-draft workouts. His college numbers were subpar, as Allen threw for only 1,812 yards with 16 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 56.3 completion percentage in 11 games a year ago. If Allen can harness his tools, he could be an elite quarterback, but he is risky.

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame (picked by Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com; Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports): Like Williams, this is another offensive tackle prospect that could be paired with Humphries. McGlinchey drew a comparison from NFL.com to former Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer and is said to be more effective on the right side. He is 6-foot-8 and 312 pounds with enough polish to become a starter early in his NFL career.

QB Josh Rosen, UCLA (picked by Joel Klatt, Fox Sports; Todd McShay, ESPN): The belief is that Rosen will go higher than No. 15, but if he is on the board it would be an intriguing choice. Rosen has a high floor and seems like one of the safer quarterback picks in the draft because of his polish. There have been questions about his durability, and how his personality will fit in an NFL locker room.

CB Mike Hughes, UCF (picked by Lance Zierlein, NFL.com; Matt Miller, Bleacher Report): Like Jackson, this would be another cornerback option to complement Peterson. Hughes is only 5-foot-10 but has impressive athleticism. He had four interceptions last season, returning one for a touchdown. He was also a productive return man in college, accumulating three return touchdowns in 2017.

QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (picked by Bucky Brooks, NFL.com; Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout): Mayfield is another quarterback expected to go higher in the draft that would be an intriguing option if he fell. His college production was second to none, but Mayfield comes from a spread offense and is smaller than most signal-callers. Mayfield’s personality can be polarizing. Some appreciate his fiery demeanor and competitiveness. Others are worried his cockiness may be a detriment.

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