NFL Draft week is finally here.
After months of scouting college players from around the country, the Arizona Cardinals hold six selections in the 2021 edition in Cleveland.
Pro Football Focus on Tuesday released a full seven-round mock draft and has the Cardinals picking on the defensive side of the ball with three of those picks.
The first at No. 16 overall is projected to be South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn, who has been touted as one of the best CBs available.
“Horn, whose statistical comps include Marshon Lattimore and Aqib Talib, is a plus athlete who has climbed up draft boards throughout the process. With an over/under of pick 13.5 currently on the betting market, going 16 to help replace Patrick Peterson is a steal for the Cardinals.”
Come the Cardinals’ second-round selection on Friday at No. 49 overall and PFF has Arizona solidifying another position of need with OL Landon Dickerson from Alabama.
This is a good value for the Cardinals, as Dickerson’s draft prop is currently pick 31.5. While an additional wide receiver might be of good use for young Kyler Murray, getting the most valuable center in college football in 2020 will do.
Although Dickerson tore his ACL in the 2020 SEC Championship Game, the center is highly graded by PFF for his “industrial refrigerator” size that helped him receive a 92.8 run block grade, 92.9 zone grade and 91.3 overall grade last season.
The 6-foot-6, 325-pounder also spent time at guard and tackle in college, which will provide offensive line depth for the Cardinals in 2021 after the acquisition of center Rodney Hudson this offseason and the retirement of OT Marcus Gilbert on Monday.
Barring a trade back up, Arizona will then have to wait until the fifth round on Saturday for its next pick at No. 160 overall.
PFF has the Cardinals double-dipping in the South Carolina defensive backs room by selecting cornerback Israel Mukuamu.
Mukuamu is a long 6-foot-4, 205-pound corner that is good at tackling and making the most of his chances when the ball is thrown his way. Of the 89 times opposing quarterbacks threw Mukuamu’s direction over the last three years, only 50 have been caught by wide receivers (56%) and seven have been intercepted.
With a Cardinals cornerback room that has the likes of veterans Malcolm Butler and Robert Alford already in it, taking a flier on a fifth-rounder with a PFF draft comp of Brandon Browner could pay dividends for Arizona in the future.
Next up for the Cardinals would be their two seventh-round picks at No. 243 and No. 247.
PFF has Arizona selecting defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson out of Colorado and SMU tight end Kylen Granson, respectively.
Johnson would provide the Cardinals more depth along a defensive line that already includes the likes of J.J. Watt, Zach Allen and Jordan Phillips.
Granson, meanwhile, could have a chance of playing alongside Maxx Wiliams and Darrell Daniels following the departure of Dan Arnold.
PFF did not include Arizona’s sixth-round pick (No. 223), which was acquired via the Mason Cole trade.