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Cardinals Draft Primer 2023: Cornerback

Finding a top cover man remains top priority


The Cardinals, with eight draft picks and with the No. 3 overall selection, have a chance in GM Monti Ossenfort's first season to begin to build a roster that is desperate for an infusion of youthful talent. The draft begins April 27 – held in Kansas City, Missouri – but before then, will take a look at each position and how the Cardinals may look at them on draft weekend. Here is the next position group breakdown.

Here is the next position group breakdown:

Draft primer: Cornerback

Need: High

The Cardinals' situation: The Cardinals have needed a high-end guy here since the end of Patrick Peterson's tenure. Now with the free-agent defection of Byron Murphy, the need is off the charts. Wilson has made nice strides in two seasons and Hamilton has had some good moments. But can Matthew evolve into a serviceable regular? The Cardinals also have a pass rush that needs improving, so there are plenty of questions on both ends of pass defense.

The draft class: With the possibility of a trade down, cornerback seems to be one of the top possibilities if the Cardinals aren't at 3. But this is a draft deep in corners, meaning there are choices in the second- and third-rounds as well. At the top of the cornerback board are Illinois' Devon Witherspoon, Oregon's Christian Gonzalez, Maryland's Deonte Banks, Penn State's Joey Porter Jr., and Mississippi State's Emmanuel Forbes.

The conclusion: There will be cornerbacks drafted. And yes, plural is very possible. Even if the Cardinals don't take one in the first round, grabbing one at the top of the second or top of the third could still get them a desperately needed starter for 2023.