Cardinals' Mock Draft: Updated 7-Round Projection After Combine
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
With the NFL Scouting Combine on the books, the Arizona Cardinals have a better idea about who they should take in the NFL draft. The Cardinals have several needs, but which one will they address first? Could it be on the offensive line or a quarterback like Matt Barkley (pictured).
As a result of the A.J. Jefferson trade with the Vikings, Arizona will have two picks in the sixth round and no pick in the seventh round. Compensatory picks will be revealed next month and are not factored into this mock draft.
All statistics from the combine are from NFL.com.
The draft is two months away. Start the slideshow and see who the Cardinals should take with each of their picks.
Round 1: Lane Johnson OT, Oklahoma
Johnson rose up many draft boards with his performance at the combine.
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Everyone knows who Lane Johnson is now after his impressive performance at the combine. Johnson led all of the offensive tackles in the 40-yard dash at a speedy 4.72 seconds. He also was one of the best in the vertical jump at 34 inches and the broad jump at 118 inches.
His agility was also strong enough to get him a top spot in the 20-yard shuttle run (4.51 seconds) and three-cone drill (7.31 seconds). While those workout numbers are impressive, Johnson has much more to him than just one good day at the combine.
Johnson's speed allows him to get to that second level and throw more blocks to open up more lanes for running backs to get through. He's able to keep his feet moving when he's blocking to keep himself in the right position when going against oncoming defenders. It also minimizes his risk of taking holding penalties if he were to get beat.
The only knock on him is a lack of experience at the position. In college, Johnson played quarterback then tight end then defensive end before finally finding a more permanent home on the offensive line.
At 6'6" and 303 pounds, his strength and mobility are very unique. If the Cardinals take him in the first round, he'll certainly have the opportunity to show how good he is immediately in the 2013 season opener.
Round 2: Kyle Long OT, Oregon
Long works out at the NFL Scouting Combine.
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Kyle Long of the Oregon Ducks looks to be a solid second-round pick for the Cardinals. Arizona has glaring needs on the offensive line that Lane Johnson and Long could go a long way to solving.
Long checked in at 6'6" and 313 pounds. He ran a 4.94-second 40-yard dash at the combine, and his speed would be welcomed by Arizona.
He would make a great pulling guard, and he has the speed to be effective at that. It would give Arizona another dimension in its ground games as counter and trap runs would be more effective with a guard who can move like Long does.
He's able to explode out of his stance and has the leg drive to finish plays. Additionally, he doesn't get beat by spin moves on the rush, so it would be difficult to beat Long to get to the quarterback.
Getting two mobile and sound offensive linemen would make Arizona's quarterback and running backs feel much more comfortable. The offensive line has allowed more than 50 sacks in each of the last three seasons. Drafting Johnson and Long would help reduce that number.
Round 3: Joseph Randle RB, Oklahoma State
Randle dives into the end zone through the Sooner defense.
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Randle was impressive at the combine and was one of the better running backs with a 123-inch broad jump. That's not the only reason the Cardinals should be leaping to get him in Round 3.
Last season, Randle accumulated 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns on 274 carries. He also added 224 yards on 28 receptions. Last season was a chance to shine in the spotlight, as he was getting overshadowed by Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden in 2011.
The number of carries shows he can be the workhorse back that Arizona needs. He's got the ability to take the ball up the middle, or he could be used as a receiver which is a dimension Arizona has lacked for several years. Randle is able to lower his pads and pick up valuable yards after contact.
The knock on Randle is that he runs in just one gear and does so too upright. He won't break away from defenders in the open field, and we won't be the back to push the pile in goal-line situations.
Arizona needs to find a long-term solution at running back, and Randle could be part of that solution.
Round 4: Marcus Lattimore RB, South Carolina
Lattimore fields questions from the media at the combine.
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Marcus Lattimore was at the combine, but didn't participate as he's recovering from major knee surgery. While he didn't try the 40-yard dash or take a rep on the bench press, just being there was a success for him.
He got his knee examined by everyone, and Arizona could be a team to go and get him. There's no doubt Arizona needs a running back, and Lattimore may not be likely to play in 2013 while he recuperates and builds up strength.
There's no doubt Lattimore would have been a first-round pick if he didn't suffer the knee injury against Tennessee. Arizona should get him and stash him away because first-round picks at fourth-round prices don't come around often.
The Cardinals would then have another season to solve their quarterback issues (if they still exist) and have that running back who can push the pile and grind out the tough yardage.
Round 5: Cornelius Washington LB, Georgia
Washington (left) zeroes in on Lattimore (right).
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Washington was very impressive at the combine. He posted a 4.55 40-yard dash, 39-inch vertical and pulled off 36 repetitions on the bench press. This just screams out power and speed, and that's what Arizona needs to shore up its poor run defense.
Washington is at its best from a stand-up position and would make a nice pass-rusher. Even if he can't get to the quarterback, he should be able to disrupt plays enough to help the Cardinals defensively.
At 6'4" and 265 pounds, he would be exactly what Arizona needs to anchor down the linebacker position.
Round 6: Joseph Fauria TE, UCLA
Fauria finds the end zone.
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Fauria is a strong route-runner who should be able to add to the Arizona passing attack. At 6'7" and 259 pounds, he should cause matchup problems all over the field.
He should come across as a tall tight end who has good leaping ability and should be able to box out defenders trying to cover him. That makes him a strong red-zone threat which would help to take pressure off the other receivers. Don't expect too many yards after catch, so Fauria would be a good possession tight end for Arizona.
Fauria scored 12 touchdowns last season which is one more than what Arizona tight ends have scored in the last five seasons combined.
There is room to improve in that part of the passing attack, and Fauria could be what the Cardinals need.
Round 6: Sean Renfree QB, Duke
Could Renfree have a homecoming back to Phoenix?
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Renfree would give Arizona some stability at the backup quarterback position. The Cardinals went through three of them this past season, and none of them looked particularly effective.
At Duke, Renfree threw for 3,113 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his senior season. The numbers don't look eye-popping, but they would be serviceable for a backup.
He's got the arm to hit receivers on out routes and deep throws, but has issues with locking on to his intended receiver. If he can learn to make the correct progressions in his reads, he should be an effective backup.
Renfree played his high school football at Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, so he would be coming back home if Arizona picked him.