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Mock Draft Tracker - Post-Free Agent Frenzy

Posted Mar 17, 2017

More names connected to the Cardinals in the first round

Wide receiver Corey Davis (left), quarterback Patrick Mahomes (center) and cornerback Tre'Davious White have been paired with the Cardinals recently.

The Cardinals have the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of April’s draft. The initial free agency frenzy has come and gone, and while the team may continue to add pieces, its needs are becoming clearer. Here is a look at some names being connected to the Cardinals’ first selection:

QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech (picked by CBS Sports’ Rob Rang and Dane Brugler): Mahomes has generally been categorized as the fourth-best quarterback in the draft class, but an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting combine has his stock rising. The upside is there, but Texas Tech’s air-raid spread offense is a far cry from what NFL teams run, which means it could take Mahomes some time to develop. The Cardinals would have the luxury of allowing him to sit for at least a year behind Carson Palmer.

CB Tre’Davious White, LSU (picked by ESPN’s Todd McShay and Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo): The Cardinals have two former LSU stars in their secondary already, and White would be an interesting addition next to Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Marcus Cooper left for the Bears in free agency, and the second cornerback spot is certainly a question mark. White had a big role with the Tigers for four seasons and does a nice job in coverage, although there are concerns about his physicality. He is an experienced player who could fight for playing time immediately if selected.

WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan (picked Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller): Davis has an ankle injury that kept him sidelined during the combine, and his stock could be dependent on how he does in private workouts with teams. There is no questioning the production he put up at a small school, but franchises would like to see how his testing scores stack up against big-school prospects. Davis should go somewhere in the first round, but it remains to be seen if the Cardinals want to spend an early-round pick on a pass-catcher.

QB DeShaun Watson, Clemson (picked by CBS Sports’ Will Brinson): Many expect Watson to go higher than No. 13, but there are some who think he could be available when the Cardinals are on the clock. Watson found great success at Clemson, making two national championship games and winning one. He played well on the big stage, but there are questions about his accuracy, decision-making and arm strength. Watson is a smart player with experience in pressure situations, so he may be one of the more NFL-ready quarterbacks in the draft class, but the learning curve is steep for all of them.

WR Mike Williams, Clemson (picked by The MMQB’s Emily Kaplan and NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks): The Tigers’ star is still a name often connected to the Cardinals. He didn’t run a 40-yard dash at the combine but did so at his Pro Day, registering in at a solid 4.5 seconds unofficially. Williams isn’t a burner but has a big catch radius and can use his body to box out smaller cornerbacks. Williams, Davis and John Ross are the consensus top three wide receivers in the draft.

QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame (picked by The Ringer’s Danny Kelly, USA Today’s Luke Easterling): While Mahomes is newly linked to the Cardinals, Kizer has been paired with them throughout the process. He didn’t fare as well at the combine but has all the physical attributes to pique the interest of scouts. Kizer’s production wasn’t great last season, which may give teams pause, and he seems like another player who could use a season or two of tutelage. The big arm would fit Bruce Arians’ offense if Kizer has enough other traits to succeed.

LB Reuben Foster, Alabama (picked by NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah): Once thought to be a no-brainer top-10 pick, Foster’s hasty exit from the NFL Scouting combine after an argument with a medical worker may hurt his stock. There isn’t much to dislike about his game, as Foster is a rangy linebacker who hits hard. The Cardinals signed Karlos Dansby to pair with Deone Bucannon at linebacker, but the veteran Dansby is merely a stopgap. Foster would seem like a long-term answer at the position, but the Cardinals would need to be comfortable with his character.

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