Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup 6.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, we will update our Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Arizona Cardinals from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks from recent NFL mock drafts for the Cardinals:

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso (3/9)

TRADE - 9. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

New Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon knows the importance of having quality outside corners in today's NFL, so he is happy to land Gonzalez here. In the trade back the Cardinals get this selection, the No. 34 overall pick and a 2024 first-round pick from Carolina.

ESPN - Todd McShay (3/7)

3. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Arizona fans might be bored with arguably the most-common 2023 mock draft match by now, but they won't be complaining if Anderson lands with the Cardinals and goes to work off the edge. Displaying relentless power and an explosive first step, Anderson compiled 34.5 sacks and 184 pressures over his three-year career at Alabama. For context, that's more sacks than one FBS team (South Florida, 30) had over that time, and more pressures than another (James Madison, 135) totaled. Meanwhile, the Cardinals' 36 sacks tied for 23rd in the NFL last season, and after already losing J.J. Watt to retirement, they could also lose Zach Allen in free agency. Those two led the team in sacks.

Anderson's 4.60-second 40-yard dash was solid, but I was just impressed that he worked out at the combine at all. Scouts love when a top prospect comes out and does all the on-field work even if he has nothing left to prove. - Lance Zierlein (3/7)

TRADE - 7. Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

The scenario would be a huge win for the Cardinals: adding valuable draft capital and one of the top edge defenders in the draft.

The Athletic - Dane Brugler (3/7)

3. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

We don't have a draft history for either Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon or general manager Monti Ossenfort, as they're in their first year in those roles. Based on their previous stops, however, it is a reasonable bet that they will prioritize the pass rush, especially with it being such a need on the Cardinals' roster. Not only is Anderson's talent worth this pick, but his intangibles are also exactly what the organization wants with the first pick of the Gannon-Ossenfort era.

Anderson had a solid combine — whatever you thought of him going in, that is likely how you feel leaving Indianapolis. The average 10-yard split for the top-20 pass rushers in the NFL is 1.63 and Anderson posted a 1.61, a strong time at 253 pounds.

USA Today - Nate Davis (3/7)

3. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

It's not a foregone conclusion (yet), but Carter's arrest likely solidifies Anderson as the first non-quarterback selected next month. Yet assuming that happens, it still might not occur at No. 3, as the rebuilding Cards are yet another team that might look to trade down — especially, say, if a quarterback derby develops later in the top 10 between the Raiders, Falcons and Panthers.

Schematically, Anderson was probably a better fit with the 3-4 front the Cards used in recent seasons. But you don't say no when you get the chance to take someone with Anderson's characteristics given his size (6-4, 253 pounds), burst and power. And given the success new head coach Jonathan Gannon had deploying LB Haason Reddick — he's a bit smaller than Anderson — on the edge in Philadelphia, there should be no issues. The two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year was truly spectacular in 2021, when he led the country with 17½ sacks and 31 tackles for loss.

The 33rd Team (3/7)

TRADE - 7. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Cardinals move back and get the top corner in the draft that they had their eyes on all spring. Christian Gonzalez has the size (6-foot-1), length and speed that NFL defensive coordinators covet.

Bleacher Report (3/7)

3. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

This particular pairing is about as simple as it gets. Top team not in need of a quarterback lands top-ranked position player.

"The Arizona Cardinals don't need a quarterback so they get the benefit of taking Bleacher Report's highest overall graded player in Alabama's Will Anderson Jr.," Holder said. "They could also use a lot of help on their defensive front, so this is a great scenario for Arizona.

"Markus Golden turns 32 years old next week, thus adding another young pass-rusher to pair with second-year OLB Myjai Sanders is a smart plan for the Red Birds."

Even with the promising starts with Sanders' and Cameron Thomas' rookie campaigns, the Cardinals still finished among the league's bottom 10 with 36 total sacks. To make matters worse, J.J. Watt was the only member of the team to manage more than 5.5 sacks and he retired this offseason.

Anderson gives the Cardinals a true game-wrecker the likes of which they lacked last season after Chandler Jones left in free agency to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders. The two-time Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner is both a load at the point of attack and a dynamic pass-rusher capable of beating offensive line through multiple different means.

The third overall pick is a great place for new Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon and his team to be.

Touchdown Wire - Doug Farrar (3/6)

3. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

New Cardinals head coach and former Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon spent more than half of his combine press conference defending his defensive strategies in Super Bowl LVII against an eager Philly media, which had Gannon with a thousand-yard stare after the first five minutes. His revenge tour should start with a premier edge-rusher in his new home, and from a pure pressure perspective, there are few in this class better prepared to do that than Anderson, who put up 14 sacks, nine quarterback hits, and 42 quarterback hurries in his 2022 season. That's good enough, but if Anderson cam replicate his 2021 season, which was even better, he'll be a key epicenter of a defense with all kinds of needs.

Los Angeles Times - Sam Farmer (3/4)

3. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

New coach Jonathan Gannon needs to rebuild the league's second-worst scoring defense, and Anderson is a good building block for that.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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