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Cardinals Use Third-Round Picks On CB Garrett Williams, WR Michael Wilson

Syracuse defensive back coming off ACL tear

The Cardinals added to their cornerback room by taking Syracuse's Garrett Williams in the third round.
The Cardinals added to their cornerback room by taking Syracuse's Garrett Williams in the third round.

Garrett Williams believes he would've been one of the better cornerback prospects in the draft had he not torn his ACL in an October game, ending his college career.

But the Syracuse product said the Cardinals picking him in the third round -- the No. 72 pick overall and the first of three third-round picks for the team -- was right about where he should've ended up given his injury. And Arizona was where he should've landed.

"This is the team I said from the jump I felt I had the best connection with," Williams said.

Williams said his doctors are saying he should be ready to return to the field in July, although he acknowledged that determination will now fall on the Cardinals medical staff.

"I feel really good with where I am at in my rehab and recovery," Williams said.

Williams' return will be on his own timetable, GM Monti Ossenfort said, but the Cardinals are not assuming this will be a lost season.

"What our expectations are is for him to come in and continue his rehab and doing what he can to prepare to get on the field," Ossenfort said. "Whenever he is ready, we'll get him out there. It's not something where we are going to rush him out there as soon as possible, but I wouldn't say it's a thing where I'd say we're going to save him until next year. It's nothing like that."

As for the Cardinals, "me and coach (Jonathan) Gannon, we were talking the same language," he added.

In eight games this season before his injury, Williams had two interceptions, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He said he needs to work on his press technique and keep improving on his tackling. Mostly, though, he said he needed to get healthy.

Unable to work out for teams this offseason, Williams focused on doing well in meetings with teams.

"When it came to going to the combine, doing interviews, the 30 visits, it was being the best one at (interviews)," Williams said. "I can't compete physically so I need to show I'm sharper than anyone else when it comes to knowing the game."

Traveling for visits while rehab wasn't ideal, he said, but he took the equipment he needed for his exercises and would hunker down in the hotel gym to get his work in whenever he was on the road.

"I tried to stay on track the best I could even though I didn't have as many resources as usual," he said.

Stanford wide receiver Michael Wilson runs with the ball after a catch against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)


The Cardinals took Stanford wideout Michael Wilson with a second third-round pick, No. 94 overall. Like Williams, he had his season end prematurely after an injury, but his broken collarbone not only is fully healed but he had been able to return to play in the Senior Bowl.

Wilson had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown and helped his stock. He says he's fully healthy, although he has also battled foot and hand fractures in his career. The doctors have told him the injuries have been unlucky, and he talks confidently about his next stop in the NFL.

The Cardinals can use a big, physical receiver, which is Wilson. At 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, he provides size outside.

"When I get there, I want to earn a role in leadership," Wilson said. "I want to earn the trust of my teammates. So, you're just adding a good guy. A Stanford man, being a Stanford grad. I have an engineering degree, so I do operate at an extremely high level. Then, as a football player, objectively, I think you're getting a big receiver who can learn, who has got great technique, good hands, reliable hands. Is a blocker. Kind of a guy who is a jack-of-all-trades. Great releases. An ability to create separation at the line of scrimmage and at the top of my route.

"I think you guys are getting a complete receiver, but most importantly, a guy who loves the game of football and will do whatever it takes to be the best player I can be."