The Arizona Cardinals will have the 23rd overall selection in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Their season ended on Monday night after a 34-11 defeat against the Los Angeles Rams, which solidified their draft slot.
The Cardinals will have selections in the first three rounds for the first time since 2019, barring a trade. The 23rd pick is the lowest first-round selection Arizona has drawn since the 2016 draft when it took Robert Nkemdiche.
The Cardinals have spent their last two first rounders on athletic linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins.
However, neither played a huge role in the team's playoff game on Monday.
Simmons played 32% of defensive snaps, his lowest of the season after he was a regular starter in Year 2. Collins played just eight defensive snaps total, which was par for the course considering how limited his role has been all year.
Collins was anointed the starting MIKE linebacker position by general manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury when he got drafted. That never came close to fruition, though, as the rookie played just 20.6% of defensive snaps this year.
Veteran Tanner Vallejo played more than either in Monday's loss.
The Cardinals did not get much out of their last two draft classes in Monday's game, generally.
Cornerback Marco Wilson, a fourth-round pick in 2021, was the only player from that group to play over 50% of Arizona's snaps on either offense or defense. Second-year nose tackle Rashard Lawrence played 47%.
In a way, this was indicative of how Arizona's roster was built. This was a veteran-heavy team with young corps members including its quarterback, Kyler Murray, and head coach.
Now, with the Cardinals failing to win a playoff game after starting 10-2, questions arise as to how they want to go forward.
Murray is entering Year 4, and Arizona is running out of time to build a contender around him before he becomes expensive.
There are also a lot of upcoming free agents on the roster, including running back James Conner, edge rusher Chandler Jones and tight end Zach Ertz to name a few.
Are trades or free-agent signings coming to add more big-name veterans, or will the Cardinals look to bolster roster depth? Will they get younger?
The 2022 NFL Draft will commence on Thursday, April 28.