Cardinals Contributing Writer: Frank Ciriello.
After watching the Arizona Cardinals last year, it was apparent that this team had a number of holes they needed to fill in the off-season. While I like what they have done thus far, there are still some glaring needs that need to be addressed making it crucial that they hit on their late round picks. Here are five prospects to keep an eye on in the second round to address those needs.
5 Targets for the 33rd pick:
1. N’Keal Harry (WR, Arizona State University)
• Outside of Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals have lacked size at the wide receiver position for the last few years now and Harry would change that from the second they select him. Standing 6’2 and weighing 228lbs, Harry has the size and strength to win any contested ball thrown his way while still having tremendous run after the catch ability. One of the most underrated aspects of his game is his physicality when blocking.
2. Chris Lindstrom (G, Boston College)
• Lindstrom is one of the more athletic offensive lineman in this years draft class and projects to be an interior lineman with the ability to play tackle if needed. He is more known for his quickness and agility than he is for his strength, but has just enough strength to get by.
3. Jerry Tillery (DT, Notre Dame)
• Defensive line is one of the deepest position groups in this years class and Tillery is one of the top prospects in that group. While he is best suited as an end in a 3-4 defense, he can be moved all along the line and can play all three downs. Tillery possesses a great combination of size and strength that allows him to rely on his bull rush to get to the quarterback.
4. Jaylen Ferguson (Edge, Louisiana Tech)
• Adding Ferguson to the group of Chandler Jones, Terrell Suggs, and Brooks Reed would give the Cardinals one of the best– if not the best– pass rushing groups in the NFL. Ferguson had an extremely productive college career totaling 45 sacks in four years. He relies more on instincts when rushing the passer as oppose to strength or speed. Extremely tough at the point attack making him a solid run defender and capable of setting the edge.
5. Taylor Rapp (S, Washington)
• The more I look at the Cardinals depth chart, the more I push up the need for a safety on the list of holes to fill. Budda Baker is moving back to free safety and I love them bring back Swearinger (who they should never have let go in the first place). Beyond those two, you have Rudy Ford and Ezekiel Turner, both of whom are on the roster due to their superb special teams play more than their safety play. Taylor Rapp would be able to come in and make an impact immediately as he was a three year starter and has the ability to cover tight ends and provide run support. Being able to make open field tackles is one of his best traits, making him extremely reliable at the tail end of your defense.
The NFL Draft will take place tomorrow at 8 PM Eastern Time on ESPN, be sure to tune in Cardinals fans!