The Arizona Cardinals announced jersey numbers for their six new draft picks after the conclusion of Day 3 on Saturday. Here is the list:
- Round 1; No. 8 overall: Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons; No. 48
- Round 3; No. 72 overall: Houston tackle Josh Jones; No. 79
- Round 4; No. 114 overall: Utah defensive lineman Leki Fotu; No. 95
- Round 4; No. 131 overall: LSU defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence; No. 92
- Round 6; No. 202 overall: California linebacker Evan Weaver; No. 50
- Round 7; No. 222 overall: Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin; No. 26
At their respective colleges, here are what each draft choice was numbered before: Simmons, No. 11; Jones, No. 74; Fotu, No. 99; Lawrence, No. 90; Weaver, No. 89; Benjamin, No. 3.
Simmons and Weaver join a linebacker room that features major turnover from last season with the free-agent acquisitions of Devon Kennard (Detroit Lions) and De'Vondre Campbell (Atlanta Falcons) to pair alongside the returning All-Pro Chandler Jones and starter Jordan Hicks.
Fotu and Lawrence add to a defensive front that also brought in Jordan Phillips (Buffalo Bills) and depth in Trevon Coley (Indianapolis Colts).
Jones will likely compete for a starting spot at right tackle — after D.J. Humphries was re-signed to a three-year deal to man the left side — with Marcus Gilbert and Justin Murray who both returned after originally hitting free agency. Murray, though, was an exclusive-rights free agent who wasn't able to negotiate with other teams.
Meanwhile, Benjamin will fill out a running back room in which Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has said he wants three respectable options. With Kenyan Drake signing his one-year transition tag, he will likely be the feature back. Chase Edmonds is likely the No. 2 option and one that Kingsbury is high on. That leaves a battle for No. 3 between Sun Devils in Benjamin and D.J. Foster. Both may have the chance to make the team, though, if either can show prowess on special teams (which Foster has up to this point before injury).
In speaking to the media on Monday, Simmons gave his reasoning for choosing No. 48.
"I was actually talking to my brother like, 'What number should I get? I got just a few options,'" he said. "And 48, something I learned — just the more and more I learned about Arizona day by day is this is the 48th state. So, there's some significance right there. But personal significance, there's not really much there. I've always been a really low number. I felt like I was going to look good in it, so that's really the meaning."