Despite an absolutely brutal four-win 2022 season, the Arizona Cardinals are sitting pretty heading into NFL Draft season.
New general manager Monti Ossenfort boasts the third overall selection in the NFL Draft. Even with Kyler Murray coming off a torn ACL, Arizona has no interest in adding a quarterback with that selection. It will certainly look in another direction should the team stand pat.
This is now highly unlikely to happen. The dynamics at the top of this year’s NFL Draft have changed big time after the Carolina Panthers moved up from the ninth overall selection to No. 1 overall with the Chicago Bears in a blockbuster trade.
Selecting No. 2 overall, the Houston Texans are also honing in on a quarterback. They have no intention of moving up for the first pick and are locked in at this position. Perhaps, Alabama’s Bryce Young is a target. Heck, Anthony Richardson from Florida could also be an option after a stellar NFL Scouting Combine performance.
What does this all mean? Quarterback-needy teams are calling up the Arizona Cardinals about the third selection. It would be similar to when the San Francisco 49ers moved up to No. 3 back in 2021, ultimately selecting Trey Lance, with the belief that two quarterbacks would be off the board before they selected.
Arizona is in blow it up mode right now. It fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim. A new power duo is calling the shots in the desert. The idea of adding a ton of draft capital and/or young players to the mix has to be in the cards. Below, we look at three Arizona Cardinals trade scenarios with the third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Las Vegas Raiders move up to the third pick
- Las Vegas Raiders get: 3rd pick
- Arizona Cardinals get: 7th pick, 38th pick, 2024 1st-round pick
Las Vegas’ decision to replace Derek Carr with Jimmy Garoppolo under center sets the stage for a potential trade up in the 2023 NFL Draft. Garoppolo’s contract pretty much only links him to the Raiders for two seasons. In fact, they could potentially get out from his deal after the 2023 campaign. There’s also been suggestions that Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels is targeting a specific quarterback.
“Josh (McDaniels) drafted (Tim) Tebow in Denver because of the makeup, he has been with (Tom) Brady, he has been with Mac Jones. (Will) Levis has that makeup where he is going to be really good on the board and everything like that, so they might prioritize that.”Report on Las Vegas Raiders draft plans
The Raiders could sit back at seven in hopes that Will Levis drops onto their laps. Though, that has not been a great strategy for NFL teams in the past. Instead, Vegas entices with the Cardinals with several assets to make a deal work.
Tennessee Titans pull off blockbuster trade
- Tennessee Titans get: 3rd pick
- Arizona Cardinals get: Malik Willis, 11th pick, 41st pick, 72nd pick, 2024 1st-round pick
New general manager Ran Carthon and Co. opted to retain struggling veteran Ryan Tannehill for one more season. That’s the bad news for fans in Nashville. The good news? He’s a free agent after the 2023 campaign and likely doesn’t have a long-term future with the Titans.
With Tennessee retooling on the fly, it makes perfect sense to use a ton of capital in order to find that franchise guy under center. In this scenario, the Titans target Anthony Richardson with the third selection in the draft. He has all the tools to be an All-Pro performer at the next level and could help Tennessee transition to the future.
As for Arizona, it picks up a greenish young quarterback Malik Willis who still has some untapped potential despite major struggles as a rookie in 2022. The Cards also nab two Day 2 selections in the 2023 NFL Draft and what would likely be a high first-round pick in 2024 by moving down less than 10 spot. This would be a home run for Ossenfort.
Minnesota Vikings pull off massive NFL Draft trade
- Minnesota Vikings get: 3rd pick
- Arizona Cardinals get: Dalvin Cook, Lewis Cine, 23rd pick, 2024 1st round pick, 2024 3rd-round pick, 2025 1st-round pick
We rarely see a trade of this ilk around the NFL. In terms of recent history, San Francisco’s decision to trade up to the No. 3 pick from 12th overall back in 2021 cost two first-round picks and change. With Minnesota picking more than 10 spots later in the first round, it would have to give up a whole lot more.
However, we love this hypothetical trade from a Vikings perspective. Minnesota has pushed back against committing itself to Kirk Cousins throughout the offseason. He’s slated to become a free agent after the 2023 campaign and could very well be calling another city home.
Related: 2023 Arizona Cardinals mock draft
With the Vikes in a period of transition, there’s no better time to go out there and add a potential quarterback of the future in a blockbuster. Whether it’s C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson at three, they would be doing just that. It would also give stud young wide receiver Justin Jefferson that quarterback to work with in the future.
The Arizona Cardinals simply acquires a plethora of assets in this trade. That includes two future first-round picks and two players it can build around moving forward. Heck, the Cardinals could ultimately flip Cook for more assets. For a team that’s years away from contention, acquiring all of these assets just makes too much sense.