Arizona Cardinals draft capsule
15. ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-8)
LAST SEASON: Cardinals managed to win three of last four games to finish at .500 despite significant injuries to RB David Johnson, QB Carson Palmer, LT D.J. Humphries, LG Mike Iupati and OLB Marcus Golden, among others, but missed playoffs for second year in row. OLB Chandler Jones led league with franchise-record 17 sacks and was All-Pro. WR Larry Fitzgerald had another standout year in 14th NFL season, matching his franchise record of 109 catches, second most in NFL, for 1,156 yards. Two-time NFL coach of year Bruce Arians, who set franchise record of 50 wins in his five seasons, and Palmer retired. Team hired Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as new head coach. Departures of Bradford, Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert left team with no QBs, situation general manager Steve Keim addressed by signing Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon.
THEY NEED: QB, CB, WR, TE, DL.
THEY DON’T NEED: DE, P, RB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama; CB Josh Jackson, Iowa; OT Connor Williams, Texas; QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville; QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma.
OUTLOOK: Cardinals need, and want, young QB to mold as long-term solution at position, but they need to trade up to get any of top ones. Keim has cautioned that making that move would come at high price, Getting it wrong could set franchise back couple of years. Arizona probably could trade down and still select Jackson. Mayfield seems like stretch, but he did visit Cardinals eight days before draft. Cardinals could go for one of second-tier QBs with later pick. Arizona has not drafted QB high in first round since selecting Matt Leinart in 2006. Team is thin at WR behind Fitzgerald, who won’t play forever, and is always searching for CB to play opposite Patrick Peterson.
More AP college football: collegefootball.ap.org and twitter.com/AP_Top25