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Bruce Cooper's Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft 2021

He may be retired from TV, but former 12 News sports anchor Bruce Cooper can't stop thinking about what the Cards need to do in the NFL Draft.
Credit: AP
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) carries the ball in for a touchdown after a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

PHOENIX — He may be retired from talking about the Cardinals on television, but former 12 News sports anchor Bruce Cooper can't stop thinking about what the Cards need to do in the upcoming NFL Draft this week.

According to Coop, the Cardinals have three options staring them in the face relative to Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft; trade up, trade down or stay put at pick number 16.  

Coop walks us through how the Cardinals should operate in each of the scenarios.

Option One: Trade up

Cardinals trade 2021 first round pick (#16) and 2022 first round pick to Detroit Lions for 2021 first round pick (#7)

Cardinals trade 2022 third round pick to Cleveland Browns for tight end David Njoku. (Cards not getting Kyle Pitts)

1st Round (Pick No. 7)

Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama 

Credit: AP
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) tries to get past LSU cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. (5) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa , Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Waddle can affect the game in so many ways (slot, outside, reverses, special teams).  He opens up the whole field for Kyler Murray and Cardinals offense

2nd Round (Pick No. 49)

Paulson Adebo, Cornerback, Stanford

Adebo opted out of the 2020 season. However, he turned in a very solid pro day flashing a 4.4 forty-yard dash speed. He has a nose for the ball as evidenced by his 8 interceptions and 24 pass break-ups combined over the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

3rd Round pick to Las Vegas (Rodney Hudson trade)

4th Round pick to Houston (DeAndre Hopkins trade)

5th Round (Pick No. 160)

Pooka Williams Jr., Running Back, Kansas

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2019, file photo, Kansas' Pooka Williams Jr. (1) runs for a long gain as Texas' Brandon Jones (19) pursues during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas. Williams' first two seasons with the Jayhawks have produced 2,186 yards rushing at 6.0 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Williams is a speedy, elusive back with great hands out of the backfield. Provides insurance particularly in the passing game should injury find Chase Edmonds or James Conner.

6th Round (Pick No. 223) (from Minnesota in Mason Cole trade)

Khyiris Tonga, Nose Tackle, BYU

Standing  6’2, 325 pounds Tonga brings run-stuffing talent and depth to the Cardinals defensive line

7th Round (Pick No. 243) (from Las Vegas in Rodney Hudson trade)

Isaiah McDuffie—Boston College linebacker

Credit: AP
Boston College linebacker Isaiah McDuffie plays against Pittsburgh during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

McDuffie is a bit undersized at 6’1, 230 pounds but he plays with a lot of energy and plays hard to the final whistle.

7th Round (Pick No. 247)

Nick McCloud, Cornerback, Notre Dame 

McCloud left North Carolina State as a graduate student, transferring to Notre Dame.  He made 11 starts for the Irish and turned in a very impressive pro day.

Option Two: Trade Down

Cardinals trade 2021 1st round pick (#16) and 2021 7th round pick (#243 via Raiders) to NY Jets for 2021 2nd round pick (#34), 2021 3rd round pick (#66) and 2021 5th round pick (#155 via Giants)

2nd Round (Pick. No. 34 via Jets)

Javonte Williams, Running Back, North Carolina

Credit: AP
North Carolina running back Javonte Williams (25) runs while Wake Forest defensive back Caelen Carson (29) chases during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Williams combines power and elusiveness to run effectively between the tackles and in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He has excellent hands out of the backfield and is solid in pass protection.  Chase Edmonds and James Conner have only one year remaining on their contracts.  Williams is their future.

2nd Round (Pick No. 49)

Eric Stokes, Cornerback, Georgia

Stokes has the size, speed and quickness to play inside or outside. He had four interceptions this past season for the Bulldogs returning two for touchdowns. He put his athleticism on full display during his pro day.

3rd Round (Pick No. 66 via Jets)

Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas

Credit: AP
Utah wide receiver Derrick Vickers (8) is lifted off the ground as he is hit by Texas linebacker Joseph Ossai (46) during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Ossai can rush the passer with his hand down or standing up.  He stands 6’4, 260 pounds with a non-stop motor.  Adds depth and should be a starter in two years.

4th Round to Houston (DeAndre Hopkins trade)

5th Round (Pick No. 155 from Jets via Giants)

Jaelon Darden, Wide Receiver, North Texas

Darden’s combination of speed, quickness and elusiveness may be unmatched in this draft. He’s small at 5’9, 170 pounds but he’s a game-changer for sure.

5th Round (Pick No. 160)

Israel Mukuamu, Cornerback, South Carolina

Mukuamu is a tall corner at 6’4, 215 pounds.  He played opposite Jaycee Horn (1st round pick) and tallied 7 career interceptions for the Gamecocks.  He can also play safety.

6th Round (#223 via Vikings)

Khyiris Tonga, Nose Tackle, BYU

Credit: AP
BYU defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga (95) gets up after sacking Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)

Standing  6’2, 325 pounds Tonga brings run-stuffing talent and depth to the Cardinals defensive line

7th Round (Pick No. 247

Matt Bushman, Tight End, BYU

Bushman played his high school football at Tucson Sabino.  He has good size, 6’5 255, and solid hands.

Option Three: Stay put

Cardinals trade 2022 third-round pick to Cleveland Browns for tight end David Njoku.

First Round (Pick. No 16)

Azeez Ojulari, Outside Linebacker, Georgia

Credit: AP
Georgia defensive Azeez Ojulari (13) against Arkansas during an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Ojulari is explosive, aggressive and athletic. Gets off blocks well and is excellent in pursuit.  Future starting edge rusher.

2nd Round (Pick No. 49)

Eric Stokes, Cornerback, Georgia 

Credit: AP
Georgia defensive back Eric Stokes (27) returns an interception with teammate Lewis Cine (16) during an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Stokes has the size, speed and quickness to play inside or outside.  He had four interceptions this past season for the Bulldogs returning two for touchdowns. He put his athleticism on full display during his pro day.

5th Round (Pick. No. 160)

Israel Mukuamu, Cornerback, South Carolina 

Mukuamu is a tall corner at 6’4, 215 pounds.  He played opposite Jaycee Horn (1st round pick) and tallied 7 career interceptions for the Gamecocks.  He can also play safety.

6th Round (Pick No. 223 via Vikings)

Khyiris Tonga, Nose Tackle, BYU 

Standing  6’2, 325 pounds Tonga brings run-stuffing talent and depth to the Cardinals defensive line

7th Round (Pick No. 243 via Bears)

Rashad Weaver, Outside Linebacker, Pittsburgh 

Weaver has good size at 6’4, 260 pounds.  He sets the edge well.  Tallied 14.5 tackles for loss with 7.5 sacks this past season for the Panthers

7th Round (Pick No. 247)

Deon Jackson, Running Back, Duke

 

Credit: AP
Duke running back Deon Jackson (4) rushes for a first down against the Boston College during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Durham, N.C. (Nell Redmond/Pool Photo via AP)

Jackson is a tough downhill runner.  Shows good balance after contact while providing camp competition.

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