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Cardinals Trade No. 3 Pick To Texans, Move To No. 12

Deal was anticipated as GM Monti Ossenfort wanted to gain picks

The Cardinals have traded down from pick No. 3 in the NFL draft.
The Cardinals have traded down from pick No. 3 in the NFL draft.

For weeks, the speculation was that the Cardinals would not be using the No. 3 pick in the draft.

Instead, the popular speculation was that the team would trade down -- and Thursday night, that's what happened.

The Cardinals sent the third pick overall to Houston, allowing the Texans to take edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. In return, the Cardinals got back the 12th pick in the first round, as well as the No. 33 pick in the second round, and a first- and third-round pick in 2024. The 2024 first-round pick was the Texans' own; Houston still has the Browns' first-round pick from 2022's Deshaun Watson deal.

The Cardinals also give up their fourth round pick (105) in this draft.

"We were prepared to take a player (at 3)," said GM Monti Ossenfort, who didn't specify who. "We were weighing a couple options."

Ossenfort said there had been multiple discussions with the Texans, but also with other teams. The conversation with the Texans also was made easier with the relationship Ossenfort has with Houston GM Nick Caserio, with whom Ossenfort worked with for many years with the New England Patriots.

The Cardinals ultimately took offensive lineman Paris Johnson with the sixth pick after trading back up with the Lions.

One sure thing -- Ossenfort has already acquired three more picks in 2024 than they started the night with, with the two Texans picks and the extra fifth they get from the Eagles after a pick swap earlier in the day.

"We were able to grab a first next year, which isn't something we set out to do, but the opportunity presented itself," Ossenfort said.

"It gives us flexibility going into next year," Ossenfort added.

He added the Cardinals immediately looked into trading back up from 12 and "had a couple of lines in the water."

"It helped that some of the currency we gained helped us in the trade back up (with the Lions)," Ossenfort said.

Told it must've been a crazy 45 minutes with the trades, Ossenfort, running his first draft, chuckled.

"You should've been in the room," he said. "It was awesome. I had a lot of fun."