The draft is now just one week away. The Cardinals are selecting No. 13 overall, and a plethora of names have been tied to them at that spot. While quarterback is the hot trend, several other positions have viable candidates. Here are the latest mock draft projections for the Cardinals’ first round choice:
LB Haason Reddick, Temple (picked by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller): The buzz is growing for the versatile Reddick, who can be used either as an inside linebacker or as an edge rusher depending on scheme. He was extremely productive as a senior in 2016, finishing the year with 10½ sacks and 22½ tackles for loss. Reddick likely makes more sense on the inside for the Cardinals, as he is a rangy and athletic player.
CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama (picked by Pro Football Focus’ Cris Collinsworth): Many different cornerbacks have been paired with the Cardinals. Humphrey is 6-feet, 197 pounds and ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine, boasting the athletic traits that could make him a fit in the Cardinals’ defense. Humphrey has some technique issues that need to be cleaned up, but he has the measurables that would allow him to one day become a lockdown cornerback. A player like that is always enticing.
TE O.J. Howard, Alabama (picked by the Sporting News’ Ron Clements): The Cardinals signed
TE David Njoku, Miami (picked by ESPN’s Todd McShay): While Howard is a more complete tight end, Njoku has elite athleticism and would do most of his damage as a pass-catcher. The Hurricanes have produced some great tight ends over the years and Njoku could be the next one, but it would be hard to see him as a fit in Arians’ offense.
S Malik Hooker, Ohio State (picked by The Ringer’s Danny Kelly): Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim raved about the safety class, and Hooker is one of the best, alongside LSU’s Jamal Adams. Hooker only has one year of starting experience, but his natural instincts, measurables and playmaking ability make him a likely top-10 pick. If he falls to 13, the Cardinals may want to take a hard look, as they love loading up on game-changing talents.
WR Mike Williams, Clemson (picked by CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler): The Clemson wideout remains a common connection to the Cardinals. There is one school of thought that the team will wait until the later rounds to pick up a wide receiver, since they have found so much success doing so in the past. Williams, though, is a polished product who could be an impact contributor early on.
WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan (picked ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein and USA Today’s Nate Davis): Davis is the other plausible wideout choice in the middle of the first round. Like Williams, he is a bigger receiver, which the Cardinals could need if
QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech (picked by CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, Rob Rang and Will Brinson): The gunslinger continues to gain traction as a first-round pick, as teams weigh his tantalizing physical gifts with his rough edges as an improviser. Mahomes certainly has the arm strength to fit well in Arians’ vertical-route scheme, but as with any quarterback taken early, the decision-makers must be sold on his ability to successfully take the reins from