The Arizona Cardinals are a team on the brink. If they hit their draft picks and Sam Bradford can somehow manage to stay healthy, they could again be a playoff team. If they miss and Bradford again struggles with injuries, this is a team that could plummet in the standings.
Part of the problem has been the team’s past three first-round picks. The Cardinals have gotten very little from, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (2015), defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (2016), and edge rusher Hasson Reddick (2017). While it’s too late to call the latter a bust, some of the luster is off respected general manager Steve Keim.
Fortunately for Keim and Arizona, they’ll return superstar running back David Johnson after he missed all but one game last season with a wrist injury. But can they surround Johnson with good players?
In the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Seth Cox from Revenge of the Birds makes his choice for the Cardinals.
15: Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College
Cox: The Arizona Cardinals are in an interesting spot. If I’m making the pick at 15 with the way the board fell, I’m 100 percent taking Lamar Jackson, who I think will end up the best quarterback in the class. However, with the way the Cardinals do business, you have to assume they’ll be looking for less risk. Enter Landry, one of the most dynamic pass rushers in the draft and a player that can help the transition to the 4-3 defense, give them a backup plan if Markus Golden can’t make a come back or in the sense he makes a come back and lights it up and needs to be paid.
Landry is a pass rusher with a bevy of moves and an ability to be a true star off the edge. He battled ankle issues in 2017, but his 2016 was as dominant as any players in the country. You have to continue to keep the defense strong in Arizona, Landry does that.
Analysis: If the Cardinals are put in a situation to draft Jackson, it will be one of the major storylines of the first round, whether he’s the choice or not. The Cardinals are desperate for a franchise quarterback, and Bradford has proved to be an unreliable option. If they do ignore a quarterback in the first round, a pass rusher is arguably the second most important position in the NFL. Landry showed in 2016 he has top-10 talent. If you think he can be that player again, it’s a good choice, albeit a risky one.
Dan Kadar’s top five players remaining
- 13. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
- 14. Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
- 15. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
- 18. Isaiah Wynn, G/OT, Georgia
- 19. Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA
What grade do you give the pick of Harold Landry by Arizona?
This poll is closed