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Cardinals Draft Primer 2020: Safety

Position could be addressed, but likely in later rounds

General Manager Steve Keim did an impressive job filling needs to begin the league year, as there are no longer any glaring holes in the starting lineup. He will aim to supplement the roster in the draft, beginning with the No. 8 overall selection. The Cardinals are without their second-rounder because of the DeAndre Hopkins trade, but did pick up an additional fourth in the deal. We will break down each position group heading into the draft, which will be held April 23-25.

Draft primer: Safety

More draft primers: OL I DL I WR I CB I TE I ST I QB I RB I LB

Need: Medium

The Cardinals' situation: Chris Banjo and Charles Washington were re-signed, so the team returns all five safeties from the end of last season. Pro Bowler Budda Baker is the star of the group, while Jalen Thompson had a solid rookie season after the Cardinals took him in the fifth round of the supplemental draft. Deionte Thompson, the team's regular fifth-rounder, still has to prove himself at the NFL level, while Banjo and Washington are special teams players who will aim to get in the defensive mix.

The draft class: Alabama's Xavier McKinney and LSU's Grant Delpit are the top-rated prospects, each projected to go in the back half of the first round. There is a group of five safeties – Ashtyn Davis, Antoine Winfield, Jeremy Chinn, Kyle Dugger and Terrell Burgess – projected to be selected on Day 2. There is some pretty good depth at the position as the draft shifts toward the later rounds.

The conclusion: There isn't a logical safety candidate at No. 8 – unless versatile Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons ends up playing there -- so it seems doubtful the Cardinals take one early. If Steve Keim feels good about Jalen Thompson's arc, the team could use its first few picks on other areas of need. However, if there isn't enough proven talent beyond Baker, it could be a position that gets a boost in the draft. The decisions could help clear up how the Cardinals feel about the Thompsons.

Images of some of the top safeties heading into the 2020 draft

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