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Draft Primer 2024: Safety

Patrolling the secondary, Cardinals safety room has pieces intact


The Cardinals have been at the center of the NFL draft conversation for weeks, sitting at the top of the league with the most picks (six) within the first 90 selections of the draft. There's a lot of areas the Cardinals will look to address through the draft. General manager Monti Ossenfort's first draft was a success, adding multiple full-time starters and role players that played meaningful snaps. He will look to replicate that performance when the Cardinals are on the clock. Before the draft kicks off on April 25th, let's take a look at each position group and see how the Cardinals may use the draft to evaluate their needs.

Primer schedule: DL April 19

Draft primer: Safety

Previous primers: WR, QB, TE, RB, OL, CB, ILB, Edge

Players under contract: Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Joey Blount, Andre Chachere, Verone McKinley III

Need: Low

The Cardinals' situation: The heartbeat of the Cardinals defense remains on the roster in Budda Baker. The six-time Pro Bowler is one of the NFL's fiercest when patrolling the secondary. Jalen Thompson also had a Pro Bowl worthy season, notching four interceptions and 78 tackles. Any time the duo is on the field, the Cardinals are in a good spot.

The draft class: As mentioned in the cornerback primer, Cooper DeJean's on-field versatility at Iowa makes him one of the most fascinating prospects in the draft. He could be an option, if he's available, at No. 27. Most other prospects like Georgia's Javon Bullard, Minnesota's Tyler Nubin and Washington State's Jaden Hicks have been projected toward the mid-second round part of the draft.

The conclusion: Despite the Pro Bowl nod, last season was not the year Baker hoped for statistically. But it was a first-year defense and both Baker and Thompson were a force to be reckoned with. While Baker is going into a contract year, he's still at the height of his game. The Cardinals have a versatile defensive player in Garrett Williams already on the roster.

A look at some of the top safeties entering the 2024 NFL Draft.