General Manager Steve Keim upgraded several areas of the roster in free agency, but there is still work to be done. The Cardinals have 10 picks in this month’s draft, including No. 1 overall, as Keim aims to stock the roster for new coach Kliff Kingsbury. We will take a look at each position group heading into the draft, which will be held from April 25-27.
Draft primer: Cornerback
Players under contract: Patrick Peterson, Robert Alford, Tramaine Brock, David Amerson, Brandon Williams, Deatrick Nichols, Josh Shaw, Chris Jones, Jonathan Moxey.
The Cardinals’ situation: Keim was more active at this position than any other in free agency. Alford was added early on and has been penciled in as the starting cornerback opposite Peterson. Brock is an experienced veteran who will likely have a chance to secure the slot cornerback role in nickel and dime alignments. Shaw was a free agent depth addition, while players like Amerson and Williams are among the holdovers from a year ago.
The draft class: Georgia’s Deandre Baker and LSU’s Greedy Williams are among the top cornerback prospects and could go in the first round. Washington’s Byron Murphy, who grew up in Phoenix, is also expected to go early. There are plenty of other options in the first few rounds, including Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin, Michigan State’s Justin Layne, Notre Dame’s Julian Love and Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen.
The conclusion: There was a revolving door opposite Peterson last season and the Cardinals hope Alford can give the No. 2 cornerback spot some much-needed stability. While Brock seems like the top candidate for the slot at this point, a rookie could enter that mix if the Cardinals take one high in the draft. The position isn’t a huge need following free agency, but it’s an important one, and if the Cardinals have high grades on a prospect when on the clock, they could add another cornerback to the fold.
Images of some of the top cornerback prospects heading into the April 25-27 draft