With less than a month remaining before the NFL draft, there seems to be only one certainty about the recently quiet Cardinals and what they might do in the first round. That certainty is that there’s almost no certainty about which player(s) they might be eyeing.
The Cards have the 20th pick after a surprise 10-6 season, and their needs are widely assumed to be a pass rusher, a right tackle, a safety, depth at cornerback and perhaps a quarterback of the future. A perusal of prominent mock drafts reveals an expectation that a pass rusher will be the pick in the first round, but that’s far from a consensus, and which pass rusher is even less of a certainty.
In fact, only two players are penciled in for the Cardinals in more than one mock draft. Those players? Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy, who appears in three mocks, and UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr, who appears twice.
After that, there’s an assortment that includes two other defensive ends, a defensive tackle, two cornerbacks, a safety and even a quarterback — and not one who’s been mentioned much in connection with the Cards.
For those wondering, here’s a rundown of draft experts’ projected picks.
Peter Schrager, FOXSports.com: Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Todd McShay, ESPN: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Rob Rang, CBS Sports: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
Charles Davis, NFL.com: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Mike Huguenin, NFL.com: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The takeaway (other than a somewhat surprising lack of tackles on that list)? At this point, your guess is as good as ours.