TEMPE, Ariz. -- If I were able to predict the first round of this year’s NFL draft, I wouldn’t be working as a sports writer or for ESPN.
I’d be off making millions predicting the future -- most likely in Vegas.
I can’t predict the first round and neither can anybody else. But after reading through ESPN NFL draft Insider Mel Kiper’s latest Big Board, I know this -- the Cardinals are in prime position to get a top talent. Kiper ranked the top 25 prospects and sitting at No. 24 is Stanford junior offensive tackle Andrus Peat. If he’s available and the Cardinals feel the left tackle could transition to the right side, he may be an option to eventually replace Bobby Massie.
Rounding out Kiper’s Big Board is Kentucky outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who would be a good fit in Arizona because of his size, speed and athleticism. He’s definitely raw, which would make him a project, but it’s the type of player coach Bruce Arians would like to have coming off the edge.
In his most recent mock draft, ESPN NFL Insider Todd McShay had the Cardinals drafting Dupree at 24th.
Among Kiper’s top 25 who could end up in Arizona are running backs Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley, and linebacker Vic Beasley. It’s unlikely that Beasley drops to 24th but I think it’s possible that Gordon or Gurley can. The more I’ve considered Gurley over the past few weeks the more I question whether he’d be a good pick for the Cardinals because of how quickly he can return to the field after a knee injury in November. He would be a long-term pick, no doubt, but the Cardinals are primed for a run this year and a running back would be a large part of that.