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Cardinals Early Mock Draft Roundup

Although Arizona's season just ended, the Cardinals now enter an offseason where the NFL Draft will be key to keeping their play around playoff level.

The offseason is officially here for the Arizona Cardinals, and you know what that means: Mock drafts!

Yes, the pointless exercise of trying to perfectly predict the imperfect puzzle that is the annual NFL Draft is once again returning to the news cycle. 

With turnover inevitable this offseason, the Cardinals will need a strong draft class in order to keep pace with their NFC counterparts and potentially make a stronger playoff push than they did this past season. 

Although we're months away from finding out who Arizona's first-round selection will be, the experts are already making their best (and early) guesses as to who will be the freshest face to hold up a Cardinals jersey in Las Vegas. 

Hint: There's a lot of emphasis along the defensive line. 

Cardinals Early Mock Draft Roundup

ESPN's Mel Kiper: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

"After a 10-2 start, the Cardinals lost five of their final six games and crashed out in the playoffs, a disappointing finish for a team that once looked like a Super Bowl contender. And I think you can point to J.J. Watt's shoulder injury in late October as a big reason the defense took a step back down the stretch. Watt is still signed for another season, but his injury history means that Arizona needs to think about a replacement. That's Karlaftis, a powerful 275-pound end who might be better in a 3-4 defense. He had only 4.5 sacks in 2021, but his pressure numbers were elite, even if he didn't always get home to the quarterback. He's really good against the run, too.

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The Athletic's Dane Brugler: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

"At 6-6 and 360 pounds, Davis is a hard-to-move space-eater with the power to reestablish the line of scrimmage. He might be drafted higher if a team believes he can sustain his high level of play with an increased snap count (he averaged only 25.2 snaps per game in 2021), but Davis is a dominant run defender when on the field."

CBS Sports: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

"Williams' torn ACL sinks him outside the top 20, but the Cardinals can't pass on him given the state of their receiver group heading into the 2022 season."

PFF: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

"Though Jackson didn’t take the leap in production many hoped he would this season, those top-end pass-rush flashes still showed up often. Jackson brings rare speed ability on the edge with his burst, bend, and ability to execute speed pass-rush moves. Strength is the main concern with the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Jackson, both in run support and while pushing the pocket. Still, he should be a player a team takes a chance on in the middle or late part of the first round."

Sports Illustrated: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M

"Kenyon Green has a thick build at his position of offensive guard. Furthermore, his frame is very balanced so his athleticism does not slack because of his size. Has the flexibility to drop low in his stance to get good leverage at the beginning of every play."