The Cardinals did not make any headlining moves in free agency, so there was pressure to land impactful players heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. Regaining respectability is the goal for the organization after falling from 11 wins in 2021 to four in 2022.
Pre-draft speculation pointed to Arizona drafting one of the top defensive players on the board with their original first-round pick at No. 3 overall. But new GM Monti Ossenfort then maneuvered twice to ultimately end up with the sixth pick overall.
In the first trade, Arizona sent the third overall pick and a fourth-rounder in 2023 to Houston for a first and second-rounder in 2023, and a first and third-rounder in 2024. The Cardinals then dealt back up to the No, 6 spot, trading the No. 12 pick along with a second-rounder and a fifth-rounder in 2023 to Detroit, while also receiving a 2023 third-rounder.
The second trade was made to ensure that Arizona nabbed the offensive tackle it coveted. The Cardinals drafted Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. and then shifted the focus to upgrading the pass rush and secondary, adding receiving depth, and further addressing the offensive line.
Seahawks NFL Draft Picks 2023
- Round 1, Pick 6 Overall (From LAR via DET): Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State
- Round 2, Pick 41 Overall (From TEN): B.J. Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
- Round 3, Pick 72 Overall (From TEN): Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
- Round 3, Pick 94 Overall (From PHI): Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford
- Round 4, Pick 122 Overall (From MIA via KC, DET): Jon Gaines II, G, UCLA
- Round 5, Pick 139 Overall (From DEN via DET): Clayton Tune, QB, Houston
- Round 5, Pick 168 Overall: Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn
- Round 6, Pick 180: Kei’Trel Clark, CB, Louisville
- Round 6, Pick 213: Dante Stills, DT, West Virginia
Cardinals NFL Futures Odds
Now that the NFL Draft is complete, get ready for the 2023-24 NFL season with the latest Cardinals odds and futures betting markets.
Cardinals Draft Grade 2023
Cardinals NFL Draft Grade: B+
Our Frank Ammirante gave the Cardinals a B+ for getting a healthy trade return from the Texans, while still being able to move into position to take Johnson. Ojulari was also a first-round talent who filled a big need on defense.
Click to see our full report card of 2023 NFL Draft Grades.
Note: The following information was written prior to the 2023 NFL Draft.
Cardinals Draft Team Needs 2023
1. Edge Rusher
With Jonathan Gannon as the new coach, I am expecting a sharp and early focus on upgrading the pass rush. Over the past two seasons, Arizona has lost the likes of Watt, Chandler Jones, Allen, and Golden.
The Cardinals ranked 31st in points per game allowed last season, and giving opposing QBs too much time to throw contributed a great deal to that awful ranking. Arizona had 36 sacks, which ranked 24th in the NFL, and it did not make a significant move in free agency to address the pass-rush concerns.
At No. 3 overall, the Cardinals will be in a prime position to possibly target the best edge rusher in the 2023 NFL Draft, especially if quarterbacks are taken with the first two picks. If they do trade out of the spot to gain more picks and address multiple needs, nabbing an edge rusher will still be a top priority.
Losing Murphy, Arizona’s top cover corner, now makes this a position in need of another impact player. Antonio Hamilton is returning and could start in Murphy’s place, but the Cardinals do require a potential standout to solidify this position.
The 2023 NFL Draft is regarded as deep in early-round cornerback prospects. Even if Arizona does not trade down, it can possibly land a potential starter early in the draft.
The interior of the offensive line will be a top area of offensive focus in the draft. The biggest hole appears to be at center, where Hudson was slowed by injuries and now is expected to retire.
Former Cleveland Brown Hjalte Froholdt was signed to a two-year deal and may be able to do an adequate job at center, but the Cardinals should be jostling for a long-term solution in the draft.
Once the top defensive issues are addressed, Arizona can possibly turn its attention to adding more depth and competition to the offensive line. The Cardinals allowed 46 sacks last season and may pick more than one offensive lineman to further bolster the unit.
Cardinals May Also Consider Drafting: Wide Receiver, Offensive Tackle, Defensive Tackle
Cardinals NFL Draft Round 1 Mock 2023
- Round 1, Pick 3 Overall: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
As of April 19, our own Anthony Cervino is predicting that with the No. 3 overall pick, the Cardinals will stay put and grab the top defensive player on the board. Read our full NFL Mock Draft.
Cardinals NFL Draft Pick History
Cardinals NFL Draft Picks 2022
- Round 2, Pick 23 (55th Overall): Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
- Round 3, Pick 23 (87th Overall): Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State
- Round 3, Pick 36 (100th Overall): Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
- Round 6, Pick 23 (201st Overall): Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC
- Round 6, Pick 37 (215th Overall): Lecitus Smith, G, Virginia Tech
- Round 7, Pick 23 (244th Overall): Christian Matthew, DB, Valdosta State
- Round 7, Pick 35 (256th Overall): Jesse Luketa, LB, Penn State
- Round 7, Pick 36 (257th Overall): Marquis Hayes, G, Oklahoma