2013 NFL Draft: Full Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim is a few days away from his debut draft, but that doesn't mean we can't continue discussing what Arizona's 2013 draft class may look like at the end of next weekend.
The Cardinals have some stability at quarterback with Carson Palmer, but they're going to have to protect their signal-caller if they want to be relevant in the NFC West in 2013.
The general presumption is that the Cardinals will address their offensive line with the seventh pick of the draft, but will they take a tackle or a guard?
Will Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians decide to spend the majority of Arizona's picks on the offensive side of the ball or will the team add more playmakers to its talented defense?
Here's a glimpse at one of the many draft scenarios that could unfold next weekend for the Cardinals.
1st Round, Pick 7: Chance Warmack, G, Arizona
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While it's no secret that Arizona is high on all three of the draft's left tackle prospects, in this scenario the Cardinals jump at the opportunity to draft Chance Warmack after watching Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson come off of the board in the first five picks.
By drafting Warmack, the Cardinals would be mimicking their selection of Patrick Peterson in the 2011 draft.
Prior to the 2011 draft, you could have presented a strong case that Patrick Peterson was the best overall prospect in the 2011 class, and today there's a strong argument to support the position that Chance Warmack is the best overall prospect in the 2013 class.
Warmack's rare combination of physicality and athleticism allows him to beat up defensive linemen in the run game and stonewall them as a pass-blocker.
After selecting the Alabama product, the Cardinals pencil him in to take over for Adam Snyder at right guard and to serve as the anchor of the Cardinals offensive line for the next decade.
2nd Round, Pick 38: Terron Armstead, LT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff
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Arizona double-dips along the offensive line in the second round since it missed out on getting a tackle in the first round.
Terron Armstead is athletic enough to play left or right tackle, and he has a much higher ceiling than Nate Potter or Bobby Massie.
With the addition of two of the draft's best offensive line prospects and improved play at quarterback from Carson Palmer, Cardinals fans shouldn't expect to see too many 7-6 final scores from Arizona in 2013.
3rd Round, Pick 69: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
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The Cardinals turn to the defensive side of the ball in the third round and add versatile Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas to their linebacking corps.
You can't get too caught up in combine numbers when evaluating Thomas because he plays a lot faster than his 4.91 40-yard dash time suggests.
Thomas is an alert blitzer who knows how to find the football, and Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles would be able to use him at either outside linebacker spot in Arizona's 3-4 scheme.
The Cardinals can't have enough high-energy players like Thomas on defense since they have to deal with Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton on next year's schedule.
4th Round, Pick 103: Robert Lester, S, Alabama
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Arizona adds some depth to its secondary with 6'1", 220-pound Alabama safety Robert Lester.
Lester's ceiling may not be as high as former Crimson Tide safety Mark Barron's, but Lester played a lot of high-quality football in the SEC, so at worst he should be dependable backup who plays in some of Todd Bowles' sub-packages.
5th Round, Pick 140: Spencer Ware, RB, LSU
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The Cardinals added Rashard Mendenhall in free agency and have Ryan Williams to back him up. Even still, given Mendenhall and Williams' injury history, the Cardinals would be wise to carry a little insurance in their offensive backfield.
Spencer Ware is a physical, no-nonsense running back who could have a role in Arizona as a short-yardage back or as a "closer" at the end of games when the Cardinals are trying to run out the clock.
Ware runs with an attitude and dishes out his share of punishment on would-be tacklers.
Being able to pick up a running back like Spencer Ware in the fifth round would represent a tremendous draft-weekend victory for the Cardinals.
6th Round, Pick 174: David Bass, DE, Missouri Western State
Arizona goes back to the defensive side of the ball to select Missouri Western State defensive end David Bass in Round 6.
As you can see in the video, Bass looks the way he should look against the small-school competition. The obvious question now will be whether or not that talent will transfer to the NFL.
Bass can play from a stance or he can be used as an edge-rusher in Arizona. He provides good value at this point in the draft as a developmental prospect.
7th Round, Pick 219: Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington
The Cardinals finish up their draft by adding Eastern Washington wide receiver Brandon Kaufman. Kaufman comes from a strong FCS program where he played in a lot of big games.
Like David Bass, Kaufman will face questions about the level of competition that he faced, but he's worth a flier at this point in the draft.
At 6'5", 215 pounds, Kaufman could provide Carson Palmer with a big target on the outside if he's able to establish himself on special teams and claim a spot on the final roster after training camp.