Steve Keim NFL Scouting Combine

Arizona Cardinals: 5 NFL Draft Targets in the 1st Round

Here are 5 players that the Arizona Cardinals could be interested in and select with their 1st round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Sam Bradford

With a new head coach in Steve Wilks, the Arizona Cardinals are a team looking to retool as they made quite a few changes this offseason. Safety Tyrann Mathieu was cut after not accepting to take a pay cut. Quarterback Carson Palmer and former head coach Bruce Arians both retired. The Cardinals traded offensive tackle Jared Veldheer to the Denver Broncos so they do need someone opposite D.J. Humphries at left tackle. They signed offensive guard Justin Pugh and signed quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon. With plenty holes on offense and defense, the Cardinals have plenty of options at pick 15 or at another pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

1. Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

Lamar Jackson NFL Scouting Combine

If the Arizona Cardinals stay put, having Lamar Jackson and David Johnson in the same backfield would be a problem for any defense to handle. Jackson has the probably the most upside in this draft but could sit behind Bradford/ Glennon if they want to start the season with one of their veteran free agent quarterbacks and see where his development is later in the year. Bradford likely will not stay healthy and Glennon offers no dynamic or upside to the offense like Lamar Jackson can as this would be a great fit for him with the Cardinals.

2. Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Calvin Ridley NFL Scouting Combine

Larry Fitzgerald decided to not hang it up for one more year but with John and Jaron Brown both signing with other teams in free agency, there are not many options after the veteran wide receiver other than J.J. Nelson and Brice Butler. The Arizona Cardinals could go with another speedster in Calvin Ridley as he would be a good No. 2 receiver this year and would have a great mentor to learn from. Ridley can come in day one and be a playmaker that would help out Bradford/Glennon or the rookie quarterback throwing to him this year.

3. Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Mike McGlinchey NFL Scouting Combine

Since the Arizona Cardinals traded right tackle Jared Veldheer, they do not have much at the offensive tackle position. D.J. Humphries is starting at left tackle and Andre Smith signed to the Cardinals this offseason as a right tackle but both are not overwhelmingly great options. Mike McGlinchey played left tackle in college but is suited as a better right tackle and with two young tackles, this would help one of their biggest problems last year in the offensive line. McGlinchey is a sound offensive tackle and while he might not have the most upside, he is a day one starter on the offensive line.

4. Isaiah Oliver, Cornerback, Colorado

Isaiah Oliver NFL Scouting Combine

The Arizona Cardinals have been looking for a cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson for ages. Another cornerback with unreal length is Isaiah Oliver, who would fit well opposite Peterson. If some of the top offensive options are not available at 15, I could see them going with a physical corner that excels in man coverage as it would help the secondary that just lost Tyrann Mathieu.

5. Another option is trading up for Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

Josh Allen NFL Scouting Combine

If the Arizona Cardinals want a quarterback with prototypical size and special arm talent, Josh Allen could be the quarterback they want to target if they want to trade up for him in the draft. Even with accuracy issues in college, there’s a chance Allen can improve his fundamentals if he does not start initially behind Bradford/Glennon. Allen is a very polarizing player as one of biggest boom or bust prospects in this draft class.

 

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