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Cardinals Draft Primer 2021: Safety

Low need at position with young duo of Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson leading the way

DraftPrimer21-S

General Manager Steve Keim made some high-profile moves in free agency, adding J.J. Watt, Rodney Hudson, A.J. Green, Malcolm Butler and others. The Cardinals have lofty goals in 2021, and finding impact rookies would help fortify the roster. We will break down each position group heading into the draft, which will be held from Thursday, April 29 through Saturday, May 1.

Free agent primer: Safety

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

Players under contract: Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Shawn Williams, Chris Banjo, Deionte Thompson, Charles Washington, Chris Miller.

Need: Low

The Cardinals' situation: There is a nice blend of players at the position. Baker is an All-Pro safety who is just entering his prime and Jalen Thompson is a promising starter, although he was slowed by an ankle injury last year. Williams is a good insurance piece that was signed in free agency, while Banjo and Deionte Thompson also have starting experience. Charles Washington brings more value on special teams than defense.

The draft class: The top-rated safety in the class is TCU's Trevon Moehrig, who is projected to go in the first round. Central Florida's Richie Grant, Syracuse's Andre Cisco, Oregon's Jevon Holland, TCU's Ar'Darius Washington and Florida State's Hamsah Nasirildeen are projected to be Day 2 selections. There is some depth in the later rounds. Arizona State safety Aashari Crosswell could be among those chosen on the final day.

The conclusion: If Jalen Thompson stays healthy, the Cardinals could have one of the more formidable young safety duos in the NFL in 2021, as Baker has already taken the leap to stardom. The addition of Williams and the return of Banjo has reduced any worries about depth, so the Cardinals should not need to prioritize safety in the draft. If one is selected, it would be a best-player-available scenario.

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

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