Steve Keim and the Arizona Cardinals have always said and shown that the NFL draft is a major part of their process. They want to build a winner in the desert and they have slowly inched towards that.
However, as they inch towards that goal they have also missed on some big picks.
Prime example: this 2022 draft class appears to be full of what can be best described as role players. Yes, they traded their first-round pick this past April for receiver Marquise Brown. That move screams home run, other than that though this class just fails to impress.
Based on the team’s depth chart, all eight draft picks from this year’s class are listed as backup or worse. On the team’s YouTube series they couldn’t speak highly enough of Trey McBride. They loved his receiving and blocking ability so they made him a second-round pick.
Today he is listed as the third-team tight end.
The team can’t continue to do this with its draft picks. Nailing picks on days two and three of the NFL Draft weekend are where Super Bowl rosters are made. You, the fan, can be informed though and deserve to be.
Every Cardinals pick deserves to be one you know and thus we are taking you on a journey starting now.
Counting cards may be illegal when you are at the casino because the house has to win. Scouting Cards though allows you to stack the deck heading into the NFL Draft.
Here are some names to watch this weekend who could be future Cardinals and could help this team take the next step:
John Michael-Schmitz, Center, Minnesota
A sixth-year senior from Minnesota, John Michael-Schmitz could be the future of the interior line if drafted to Arizona. He comes in at 6’4”, 320 pounds and has strength behind that big frame to handle NFL interior defensive linemen.
He only played center in his college career but in high school, he was both a right and left tackle. He could easily help out at guard while Rodney Hudson finishes out his deal, as the Cardinals' center is under contract until age 33 but could be released at any time with team-friendly financials.
Michael-Schmitz can be seen on the Big Ten Network at Noon eastern this Saturday when Minnesota plays Western Illinois.
Jaxson Kirkland, Offensive Tackle, Washington
Someone I really enjoyed last summer when scouting was Jaxson Kirkland. The almost 25-year-old senior really impressed me with his versatility during his career at Washington. He has played all over the offensive line which would be ideal for Arizona considering the holes they have pop up from time to time on the line.
One thing that is concerning is Kirkland does have an injury history. When he is healthy though, he is fun to watch and could help the Cardinals immediately.
Kirkland can be seen on the CBS Sports App at 4:00 P.M. eastern this Saturday when Washington plays Portland State.
A.T. Perry, Wide Receiver, Wake Forest
Someone who isn’t being talked about enough but could fill the role of the aging A.J. Green seamlessly is A.T. Perry. The Wake Forest junior comes in at 6-foot-5, 212 pounds and he uses every bit of that size when going against defenders.
He has no issue skying over cornerbacks or outrunning them either. He gets back his quarterback Sam Hartman this week so expect this to be a great week to get a good look at him.
Perry can be seen on the SEC Network at Noon eastern this Saturday when Wake Forest plays Vanderbilt.
Zacch Pickens, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina
A big time recruit when he came out of high school, Zacch Pickens has developed into into a promising defensive tackle prospect. Javon Kinlaw led the Gamecocks defense a couple years ago now and since entering the league he has been dominant with San Francisco.
There is a lot of Kinlaw in Pickens’ game when you watch him, as he wins the same way Kinlaw did against blockers with technique and speed.
Pickens can be seen on ESPN at Noon eastern this Saturday when South Carolina plays Arkansas.
Joey Porter Jr., Corner Back, Penn State
Coming off a great showing against Purdue, Joey Porter Jr. has shown he can handle a large workload. He was targeted 12 times against the Boilermakers and he broke up six of those targets and only gave up 66 yards receiving on the rest of them.
He plays big and is physically big, the type of corner that could do wonders for the Cardinals. Both Marco Wilson and Byron Murphy are six feet or under. Porter Jr. is listed at 6-foot-2. Get him in the Cardinals secondary and watch him work.
Joey Porter Jr. can be seen on ABC at Noon eastern this Saturday when Penn State plays Ohio.
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