The 2022 NFL Draft is finally here. The Cardinals will draft at No.23 overall and have been linked to players at positions of need.
Here is a preview of the final mock draft projections from several league analysts.
The Cardinals' decision-makers still need to give quarterback Kyler Murray another quality pass catcher before this season begins after Christian Kirk departed this offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Treylen Burks, assuming he's still available by the Cardinals' pick, could be drafted to fill the role. The 6-foot-2 and 225 wideout had 37 percent of the Razorbacks' receiving yards over the past two seasons, and with his versatility, coach Kliff Kingsbury could use Burks inside and outside.
George Karlaftis is a freakish athlete and a natural pass rusher with incredible upside. The projected first-rounder produced an excellent 90.6 Pro Football Focus grade in 2021 for the Boilermakers and would undoubtedly help the Cardinals' pass rush rotation replace Chandler Jones' production this season. Jones departed this offseason by signing with the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.
The Cardinals need another body in its front seven after the team released Jordan Phillips this offseason. It makes sense Devonte Wyatt has consistently been linked to the Cardinals as a potential destination. The four-year starter at Georgia would help their pass-rush rotation and their ability to stop the run, taking pressure off J.J. Watt.
The Cardinals' offensive line may appear set heading into the draft, but providing quarterback Kyler Murray with more protection can't hurt, especially when in the same division as Rams' Aaron Donald. Zion Johnson is arguably the best interior lineman in the class and could quickly emerge as a starter for the Cardinals. In 30 starts and over 1,000 pass-block snaps, Johnson allowed just three sacks in his collegiate career.
North Dakota State University wide receiver Christian Watson (chosen by Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports):
After Christian Kirk departed for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, the Cardinals remain in need of another wideout. The good news is the draft class is loaded with talent across the board. But most of them could be off the board by the Cardinals' pick. Christian Watson could emerge as their target depending on how things shake out. Watson needs to clean up drop issues and inconsistency, but his playmaking and athleticism create an intriguing prospect.
Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson (chosen by Todd McShay, ESPN):
Dotson isn't big (5-11, 185) but he has speed and is one of the better route runners in the draft, with arguably the best hands. He can play inside and out, and after the departure of Kirk, adding him to the mix with DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore and A.J. Green -- as well as tight end Zach Ertz -- would give QB Kyler Murray a plethora of weapons.