Cardinals’ draft dilemma: Take Marvin Harrison Jr. or trade down for more picks

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Eric Williams

NFC West Writer

In his first time overseeing an NFL Draft, Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort showed an ability to maneuver around the board last year. 

He executed five trades, including a blockbuster deal with the Houston Texans. For the No. 3 and No. 105 picks, the Cardinals got Houston’s No. 12 overall selection last year, the No. 33 pick in this year’s draft and the Texans’ first- and third-round selections in next year’s draft. Then Ossenfort traded back up the draft board, giving the Detroit Lions the No. 12 and No. 34 picks for No. 6 overall, which he used to select offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.

With two first-round picks at No. 4 and No. 27 in a 2024 draft laden with quarterback talent, Ossenfort has another opportunity to trade down and collect more picks. However, he would do so at the expense of potentially losing out on a generational talent at No. 4 in Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., the son of the Hall of Fame receiver.

On the other hand, the receiver position is loaded in this year’s draft, with players like LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze projected to go in the top 10. So Ossenfort could trade down, but he would have to be careful to stay in position to select the receiver he wants.

While Johnson had a solid rookie season, trading the No. 3 overall pick last year meant the Cardinals missed out on taking Alabama defensive lineman Will Anderson Jr., who earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with the Texans.

That’s tough for an Arizona defense in need of pass-rush help. Making matters worse, the Texans were much better than expected in head coach DeMeco Ryans’ first season, reaching the playoffs and giving the Cardinals a much lower first-round pick than expected this year. 

With the Bears, Commanders and Patriots expected to take quarterbacks with the first three picks, QB-needy teams like the Giants (No. 6), Vikings (No. 11), Broncos…

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Publish date : 2024-03-28 13:33:40

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