Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

'Moment' Has Arrived For Big Cardinals' Draft Opportunity

GM Ossenfort will make significant changes to team through 2024 selections

GM Monti Ossenfort will sort through his many options for the draft when the Cardinals prepare and then are on the clock.
GM Monti Ossenfort will sort through his many options for the draft when the Cardinals prepare and then are on the clock.

The post came from NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently, a nod to the draft capital – and endless possibilities – Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort has in play later this week.

"This draft," Jeremiah wrote on X, "will determine the next 5-7 years for the Arizona Cardinals."

A few days later, ESPN draft analyst Field Yates took the airwaves with a similar thought.

"Regardless of whether they trade up, down or somewhere in between," Yates said, "the Cardinals have a chance to absolutely reshape the franchise."

The Cardinals have their franchise QB in Kyler Murray. To have that plus six picks in the top 90 in the draft – including 4 and 27 in the first round – can drastically alter the future. With Ossenfort still in the midst of changing over the roster from the previous regime anyway, some of this was organic.

Yet the right choices with so many early picks makes it easy to envision what the pundits are thinking.

"We've got to get the right guys," Ossenfort said. "Again, the best way, at least in my belief, to build a roster, to build a core and to build a foundation is through the draft. We think we took the right steps last year in doing that with the group that we added last year, and that's the goal for this year: To add another group like we did last year (and) carve out a role, be the right type of people and be the right type of leaders."

Ossenfort famously maneuvered all around last year in his first draft, going from 3 to 12 and back up to 6 before taking tackle Paris Johnson Jr. Similar options figure to be there this year with teams clamoring for quarterbacks in the top four.

Then again, with the Cardinals in need of a receiver and there being three considered above the others -- Marvin Harrison Jr., as well as Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers – staying in place to make a choice might make more sense.

"I can't wait to see what (Ossenfort) does," Jeremiah said.

Jeremiah acknowledged the Cardinals still need blue-chip players – "You can't always trade back and keep getting more and more and more picks. Eventually you've got to add" – but also said that can be done as well as moving around the board some and perhaps add some future picks. (The Cardinals have six picks in 2025 currently; their seventh-rounder was dealt away in the trade for wide receiver Robbie Chosen in 2022.)

"I love, when you've got all this capital, 'Let's not spend it all this year,'" Jeremiah said.

The Cardinals aren't going into the draft expecting to add picks for 2025, Ossenfort said – although if the Cardinals move back from 4, that would be a near-certainty.

"It just so happens that this year we have more swings at the plate with the volume of picks that we have," Ossenfort said. "Whether we have five picks or 10 picks or 11 picks, whatever it is, we take every pick seriously and we put a lot into selecting those.

"This draft is important. Last year's draft was important. Next year's draft is important. Every draft is going to be of the utmost importance as long as we're here."

The Cardinals will play rookies. Coach Jonathan Gannon proved that last year with tackle Paris Johnson Jr. playing every snap, Michael Wilson starting at wide receiver, and cornerback Garrett Williams and defensive linemen Dante Stills earning significant playing time.

But Ossenfort said it was "unfair" to predict how many starters might come out of this (or any) particular draft, given that no player will just be handed a job based on draft status.

Then again, if the Cardinals pick at 4 and don't trade, it's probably to grab a player who indeed will slide right into the lineup. And they will have more chances at such a thing at 27, and 35, and so on.

"This is a set-your-franchise-up situation here for the Arizona Cardinals," Jeremiah said, noting the number of Super Bowl teams over the years that could point to one- or two-year periods where the draft made such a difference.

"This is their moment here."

Images of the Arizona Cardinals working out at the Dignity Health Training Facility during the first week of the NFL offseason program