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Mock Draft Tracker - Before Free Agency

Posted Feb 16, 2017

A look at some of the players connected to the Cardinals at the No. 13 pick

Names connected with the Cardinals in the first round include Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer (left), Alabama LB Reuben Foster (middle) and Clemson WR Mike Williams.

The Cardinals have the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of April’s draft. While it’s still a couple months away, that hasn’t stopped a plethora of mock drafts from being unveiled. The team’s needs could change after free agency, but here’s a first look at some names being connected to the Cardinals’ first selection:

WR Mike Williams, Clemson (picked by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, Yahoo!’s Eric Edholm):  Wideout has gone from a strength of the Cardinals to a question mark. Michael Floyd was released last season, John Brown battled complications from the sickle cell trait and, while Larry Fitzgerald played well, 2017 could be his swan song. The team could use another pass-catching weapon for the present and the future, and Williams is a polished product. Between Williams’ potential and the Cardinals’ need at the position, this has been the most common pairing.

QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame (picked by CBS Sports’ Rob Rang, Rotoworld’s Josh Norris): North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson have been deemed the top two quarterbacks in the class, and most mock drafts believe they will be selected before the Cardinals’ choice. If so, Kizer could be the most attractive quarterback on the board. He has a big arm and the athleticism to succeed in the NFL, but was inconsistent last season and would need some tutelage to unlock his tools. The Cardinals will have Carson Palmer under center in 2017, but the future is murky. If the Cardinals choose Kizer -- or any other quarterback in the first round -- he will be the prospective replacement.

LB Reuben Foster, Alabama (picked by ESPN’s Todd McShay): Deone Bucannon is locked in at the money linebacker spot, but the Cardinals could need another starter. Kevin Minter and Sio Moore are both impending free agents, and even if one is re-signed, a player like Foster is talented enough to step in immediately and form a rangy tandem with Bucannon. It’s a tantalizing thought – harkening back to the Karlos Dansby-Daryl Washington pairing – but Foster may go earlier than No. 13, unless recent rotator cuff surgery knocks him down draft boards.

WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan (picked by CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller): The other wideout expected to be taken in the first round is also being linked to the Cardinals. Davis put up obscene numbers in college but did so in the Mid-American Conference against lower-quality competition. The Cardinals have found success drafting small-school wide receivers in past years, but have never grabbed one this high. Bruce Arians is confident he can find impact receivers later in the draft, so the front office would have to feel great about Davis’ potential to select him.

CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State (picked by Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski): The Cardinals again have a need at the outside cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson. Marcus Cooper – a pending unrestricted free agent – and Brandon Williams could be in the mix, but if a potential lockdown cornerback is available at No. 13, it would be enticing. Lattimore had hamstring troubles early in his career but was outstanding last season as he got healthy. He’s a great athlete and the potential of a Peterson-Tyrann Mathieu-Lattimore trio locking down receivers could be formidable.

CB Sidney Jones, Washington (picked by Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo, CBS Sports’ Will Brinson): It’s a talented cornerback class with several different names linked to the Cardinals, and Jones is one of them. He is a big-time athlete, although his slender frame leads to some concern. He is a playmaker who had eight career interceptions with the Huskies.

CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama (picked by NFL.com’s Charley Casserly): Another cornerback option. Humphrey has a solid build at 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds with athleticism to boot. The knock on him is the lack of a refined technique. If Humphrey takes a while to learn the NFL game, the Cardinals must decide if they can be that patient. In Williams, they already have a player in that mold on the roster.

LB Jarrad Davis, Florida (picked by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr.): Davis would be another possible pairing with Bucannon, although it’s rare for a team to draft an inside linebacker this high in the draft unless it’s a clear-cut elite talent like Foster. The Cardinals would have two rangy cover linebackers but the concern would be stopping the run.

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