From left: Louisville CB Jaire Alexander, Washington DL Vita Vea and Alabama WR Calvin Ridley have been linked to the Cardinals in mock drafts.
As the draft approaches, more names are getting linked to the Cardinals in the first round. While the quarterbacks are still the heaviest source of speculation, other positions bring intriguing options. We took a look at some of the projected pairings in the first mock draft tracker. Here are some new names that have recently been added to the mix:
WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama (picked by Charley Casserly, NFL.com; Bucky Brooks, NFL.com; R.J. White, CBS Sports): The wide receiver crop is not considered deep this season, but Ridley has special skills and is expected to be the first player from his position off the board. He burst onto the scene at Alabama and is viewed as a pass-catcher that can make an immediate impact as a professional. The Cardinals don't have a clear-cut No. 2 behind Larry Fitzgerald, and a player like Ridley could vault into that mix.
CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville (picked by Todd McShay, ESPN): A cover man to pair with Patrick Peterson has been a common choice, although Alexander has only become a trendy match of late. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound cornerback dealt with some injuries this season but has elite speed and cover skills. Alexander, or any cornerback taken in the first round, could be in the mix for significant playing time as a rookie.
DL Vita Vea, Washington (picked by Peter Schrager, NFL.com): Cardinals coach Steve Wilks has spoken of beefing up the trenches, and the 6-foot-4, 347-pound Vea would certainly add a high-end talent to the defensive line. Scouts believe Vea is still raw but has elite physical tools and could join a defensive line rotation as a rookie. The Cardinals' top three defensive tackles are Corey Peters, Olsen Pierre and Robert Nkemdiche.
WR D.J. Moore, Maryland (picked by Chad Reuter, NFL.com): While Ridley is the biggest name among wide receivers, Moore has some helium. The 6-foot, 210-pound Big Ten Receiver of the Year has drawn comparisons to Pierre Garcon, and some believe he will go in the first round. If the Cardinals look closely at wide receivers early, Moore could join Ridley as a possible option.
T Kolton Miller, UCLA (picked by Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN): Offensive tackles Connor Williams and Mike McGlinchey have been linked to the Cardinals previously, and Miller is a new name joining the list. He is 6-foot-9, which can be both a good and bad thing depending on the player he is trying to block. Miller protected Josh Rosen's blind-side with the Bruins. The Cardinals have D.J. Humphries at left tackle, so any high pick would likely be expected to compete for the right tackle job.
DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA (picked by Don Banks, Patriots.com; Sean Wagner-McGough, CBS Sports): It has been a steady climb for Davenport, who became stronger and more productive as his college career went on. He performed well at the Senior Bowl and has potential that is not all the way unlocked. The Cardinals have Chandler Jones and Markus Golden manning the defensive end spots, but an abundance of pass-rushers is never a bad thing.
Images detailing the four exhibition games on the 2018 schedule