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2016 Draft
7 Round Cardinal Mock Draft
This page will be a work in progress and updated frequently. Come back often and watch it develop.

1 (#29). Kelly OC Alabama (or trade back)

3 (#92). X Howard CB Baylor

4 (#128). Kaufusi DE BYU

5 (#167). Pressley RB New Mexico

5 (#170). Matalevich ILB Temple

6 (#205). Awuruonye DE Campbell

Since each NFL team has different need, differing drafting philosophies and view the draft pick universe through 32 separate lenses, scoping out what the Cardinals might do is tantamount to "trying to hit a moving dartboard blindfolded."

Then again, mock drafts are fun, and I'm not about to cop out of this time-honored annual ritual. But I'm going to do it a bit differently. I'm caught in a bind: I need Pro Football Draft Guide's (PFDG's) to provide me with a 300 player deep draft board but I don't agree much with many of their rankings. So - as my arbitrary "gold standard for ranking prospects - I'm using my Top 120 board and PFDG's 121 - 300 player board to set my overall player rankings. Then I've identified a small number of prospects available at each Cardinal pick, discuss our needs, options etc. and then make a wild-assed guess: Fasten your seat belts:

29. Available: Eli Apple (#30),William Jackson III, (#33), Joe Haeg (#35), Austin Johnson (#37), Su'a Cravens (#38), , Tavon Young (#39), Vadal Alexander (#40), Bronson Kafausi (#45), Ryan Kelly (#52)
I believe Steve Keim and Bruce Arians when they say they'll draft the "best player available" (BPA) in the first round - but with a bit of wriggle room: (1) Keim has said he builds team need and system fit into each player's ratings before he ranks him on his "short" (120-man?) Board. Add to the coaching staff's track record at identifying and developing talent and putting that talent in the best position to succeed and you can readily understand why'd they'd have so much faith in a BPA approach to drafting. (2) If, say, a half-dozen prospects were bunched together on Steve's board, this wouldn't preclude his drafting the dude ranked #6 out of that group (because he fits a need better than the other five). (3) don't hold me to it, but I'm guessing that Keim and Arians visualize some sort of "ideal roster" where certain positions are best filled by players with specific physical profiles and skill sets. (Examples: A tall LDE like Calais Campbell. A smaller, more mobile ILB like D Washington. Or a speedy, sharp-cutting route-runner who'd be an ideal #3 WR opposite Fitz and Floyd).

That said, the Cards have a huge roster-void at center, but centers seldom are drafted as high as the first round. (Note - a bigger need was voiced by BA - a playmaking edge rusher - but that was addressed at least in part by the Chandler Jones trade). It wouldn't shock us if Keim and Arians had identified a guard whom they felt they could turn into a Pro Bowl center. Cards might also want to find the right replacement for the Tennessee-bound safety Rashad Johnson and/or some additional quality CB depth. They're also said to be in the market for a QBOF (names most often mentioned: Cardele Jones and Zac Prescott). And Massie signed elsewhere. And you can never have too much depth at NT.

To be quite honest, guys at the top of our BPA board don't excite us as much as a few later-ranked prospects who represent better position fits. We rank DE Bronson Kafausi #45 but he has the build of a Calais Campbell combined with toughness and pass rushing ability. And then there's Kelly - we rank him #52 and he's generally considered the top-ranked center in this draft. So do we ignore higher rated players like Apple, Haeg etc. and draft a later-ranked prospect like Kafausi or Kelly? Or do we remain faithful to our board. Answer probably boils down to how closely our #30 - #52 ranked players are rated (i.e. if they're close together, we go with position-fit). Or if we feel meh about all of these guys, we can always trade out of here. Gollin's Wild-assed Guess): Unless the Cards have high ratings on Kelly, Kafausi etc. , we'll trade down.

92. Available: K Fuller (#92), T Erwin (#93), Caroo (#94), Murphy (#95), Butler (#96),S Coleman (#101), X Howard (#105),
I like Coleman (a a road grader OT with attitude) and X Howard (considered a high upside corner). Question is" are they rated close enough to Fuller, Erwin, Caroo, Murphy or Butler to warrant leapfrogging down to them). Gollin's Wild-assed Guess : X Howard,

128. Available: PFDG has Kaufusi (#130), Haeg (#132), , L Turner (#139), Westerman (#144), Vigil (#147).
If PFDG's ratings are accurate, I'd have to go with Calais Campbell clone Kafausi. After that, either of the two guards who are felt can be moved to center. Gollin's Wild-assed: Bronson Kafausi, DE BYU.

167. Available: Judon (#167), Sudfeld (#168), Seumalo (#174), Tapper (#179), Ochi (#186), Matakevich (#198),
We're at the point in this draft where scouts earn their living - where every prospect isn't without a blemish or two and you have to figure out which flaws are correctable and which ones are "fatal." Here's the point in the draft where Mr. Keim has been known to pull some unknown overacheiver out of his proverbial butt. We've got a guy - Jhurell Pressley, a RB out of New Mexico (ranked in the low #300's on the CBS board) whom we have as our #4 RB (Cards were one of two teams present at his pro day. He ran a 4.38 forty). Gollin's Wild-assed Guess: Jhurell Pressley RB New Mexico.

170. Available: Judon (#167), Sudfeld (#168), Seumalo (#174), Tapper (#179), Ochi (#186), Matakevich (#198),
Judon is considered fundamentally solid. Seumalo might represent a life-presever if we were unable to draft an interior lineman earlier. Ochi is an undersized pass rush specialist. Matakevich is an "effort guy" and the heart and soul of the Temple defense - perfect steal for Keim - plus BA used to coach there. Gollin's Wild-assed Guess: Tyler Matakevich ILB Temple.

205. Available: T Powell (#202), K Seymour (#226), J Lomax (#238), Awurounye (#233), E Shumate (#238)
This is where - if there's anyone left on your board that leaps out at you (& you're pretty sure you'll lose him if he makes it to undrafted free agency) you leap on him. This point in the draft seems to be loaded with safeties. But I like an obscure DE from a little-known school...Gollin's Wild-assed Guess: Ugonna Awurounye, Campbel

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