The Cardinals’ rebuilding era remains an ongoing process after a disappointing 8-8 finish in 2020. After a 5-2 start to the season, the Cardinals went 3-6 after their Week 8 bye — good for a third-place finish in the NFC West. It’s still an improvement from three- and five-win seasons in 2018 and 2019, but Arizona has some work to do to become a playoff team. Signing J.J. Watt was a significant step, and the 2021 draft provides a chance to hone in on the offensive line and the secondary.
Kyler Murray looks like he can be the franchise quarterback Kliff Kingsbury envisioned, especially with a top target like DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins will be joined by A.J. Green this season, providing Murray with another veteran receiver. The Green acquisition allows Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim to turn their offensive attention toward filling a hole at guard.
Defensively, the Cardinals’ priority lies at cornerback — a position with no clear starter after Patrick Peterson signed with the Vikings in free agency. Arizona released Robert Alford in March, then re-signed him shortly after. Byron Murphy Jr., Malcolm Butler and Alford seem to be frontrunners to start at the position, but a rookie cornerback could easily join the ranks.
As a team whose biggest draft headline of 2020 was Kingsbury’s draft setup, the Cardinals have room to grow in the 2021 draft. Linebacker Isaiah Simmons, selected eighth overall, had a strong rookie campaign. But Arizona has yet to see very much on-field production from its other 2020 draft picks, as Simmons was the only 2020 draft selection to receive significant reps.
Click here for the entire 2021 NFL Draft order and keep reading to see who the Cardinals take in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Arizona Cardinals 2021 NFL Draft Picks:
- Round 1, pick 16 – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
- Round 2, pick 49 – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
- Round 4: No 136 (from KC through BAL) – Marco Wilson, CB, Florida
- Round 6: No. 210 (from BAL) – Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke
- Round 6, pick 223 – Tay Gowan, CB, UCF
- Round 7, pick 243 – James Wiggins, S, Cincinnati
- Round 7, pick 247 – Michal Menet, C, Penn State
Check out draft picks for other teams in the NFC West