Leading up to the NFL Draft, SIS will be publishing team previews for those with Top 10 picks in the draft. Each preview will look at the players who most make sense for that team at that selection based on stats and scouting factors and will include quotes from that player’s scouting report.
You can find more than 300 scouting reports and much more team analysis at our NFL Draft website.
The State of the Cardinals:
The 2022 season was an abject failure for the Arizona Cardinals. Attempting to build off the excitement from 2021’s playoff appearance, they fell flat on their face finishing 4-13 and earning the third overall pick. General Manager Steve Keim and Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury signed extensions that would keep them through 2027 but neither made it to 2023. In Week 14 Kyler Murray tore his ACL putting his status for the start of the 2023 season in jeopardy.
The Cardinals offense had their struggles but the defense is what really let them down, finishing near the bottom in most defensive efficiency rankings. This team needs an infusion of talent at all three levels immediately. The Cardinals are reported to be shopping the pick, but if they make the decision to stand pat here are four prospects they could be targeting.
# 3 Overall
Will Anderson Jr. – Edge – Alabama
Anderson has impressed from his first game at Alabama to his last as a deadly pass rusher and strong run defender, and he has everything it takes to be a top-end EDGE at the next level.
Anderson Jr. is the top prospect in the draft and would fill a glaring need as the Cardinals’ Edge group finished 29th in positional Total Points*.
Total Points is our all-encompassing player value stat, which measures everything a player does on his field.
Jalen Carter – Defensive Tackle – Georgia
There are almost no flaws in Carter’s on-field play and with an increased effort and professionalism combined with his ability to force teams to change gameplans, he can put himself in the NFL DPOY discussion every year.
Replacing J.J. Watt is a tall order but Carter has the on-field ability to become an impact player on a defensive line that is lacking impact talent.
Devon Witherspoon – Cornerback – Illinois
Witherspoon has the press-man coverage and ball skills to be a solid starter in any NFL defense, but he will need to improve his open-field tackling and off-man ability to hit his ceiling as a true No. 1, shutdown corner.
Witherspoon has the highest ceiling of any cornerback and would elevate a group that finished last in positional Total Points.
Tyree Wilson – Edge – Texas Tech
Wilson is a long, strong power rusher who can rush the quarterback and defend the run, but a lack of speed and agility may be traits that hold him back early in his career.
The Cardinals have shown interest in Wilson due to his game-wrecking ability off the edge, and as we noted before, that’s a huge area of need.
To learn more about the Cardinals and their needs, visit their team page on our NFL Draft website here.