Arizona Cardinals 2023 NFL Draft recap3 min read
The Arizona Cardinals started off the NFL Draft with a trade and picked up depth throughout the process across several positions. The Cardinals originally moved back to the sixth overall pick in the draft in a trade with the Houston Texans that netted them the 12th overall pick, a 2023 second-round pick (33rd overall), a 2024 first-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. After that, the Cardinals traded the 12th overall pick (1st round) they received from the Texans, its 2023 second round pick (34th overall) and a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for the sixth overall pick and the 81st overall selection . From there, they selected Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson, Jr.
It became a draft of moves for new general manager Monti Ossenfort, who set the team up with 11 draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. We break down all of the team’s picks and spotlight one undrafted free agent.
|Arizona Cardinals 2023 NFL Draft Recap|
|Selection||Player Selection||Position- School||DN Big Board Rank/ Grade||Notes||Value (1-5):|
|1 (6) 1st Round,6th overall (from Detroit) in exchange for their 1st round pick (12th overall), a 2023 second-round pick and a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for the sixth overall pick||Paris Johnson, Jr. 6’5 323||OT-Ohio State||3/1st Round||The Cardinals pick the best tackle in the draft to protect their investment Kyler Murray coming back from injury. Johnson’s footwork, energy and competitiveness shined on a week-to-week basis after moving to the left tackle position in 2022. He protected quarterback C.J. Stroud’s blindside at a high level in his one full-time year as a starter.||5|
|2 (41)||BJ Ojulari 6’2 248||OLB-LSU||70/2nd Round||Ojulari uses a combination of deft roll moves and legitimate strength to win as a pass rusher. He is adding to a room that features two third-round picks from a year ago (Thomas, Sanders) who both played better in the second half of the season as rookies.||4.5|
|3 (72)||Garrett Williams 5’10 192||CB-Syracuse||226/4th Round||Williams' eyes are his best asset. That does not mean that he is a perfect prospect from a physical perspective, but they give him his chance of sticking in the NFL. He can play bump-and-run, off-man, bail-and-run and, most importantly, shadow wide receivers in a traditional backpedal.||3.5|
|3 (94)||Michael Wilson 6’2 216||WR-Stanford||164/3rd Round||Wilson contains size, quickness and an ability to separate on intermediate routes. If he can stay healthy, he gives the Cardinals size on the perimeter after the retirement of AJ Green and addition of former Eagle Zach Pascal.||4|
|4 (122)||Jon Gaines II 6’4 303||OG-UCLA||280/4th Round||Gaines’ hand placement has to monitored in pass protection, but he is a versatile performer who has started at OC, OT and OG.||4|
|5 (139)||Clayton Tune 6’2 220||QB-Houston||199/4th Round||Tune’s fourth quarter magic in 2022 was special and demonstrated improved poise during critical moments. Tune has outstanding movement capability and ran for nearly 1,300 yards and 15 TDs in school.||4.5|
|5 (168)||Owen Pappoe 6’0 225||LB-Auburn||100/3rd Round||Pappoe moves around like a strong safety on the field, but did not live up to his status as a five-star recruit largely due to an injury that robbed him of the 2021 campaign. In fact, his best year may have been 2020.||5|
|6 (180)||Kei’Trel Clark 5’10 180||CB-Louisville, Liberty||194/4th Round||There were tough moments (i.e. FSU '22) and some of inconsistency from that contest in off-man coverage showed itself during the postseason. The positive part of that is that he can play off-man coverage well, bail in press, press receivers and show awareness in underneath zone coverage.||5|
|6 (213)||Dante Stills 6’3 288||DT-DE-West Virginia||138/3rd Round||For a player who can line up at multiple spots, Stills gives teams options. He was tough to block during 2023 East-West Shrine practices due to his play strength and ability to crease gaps. This is a solid value pick for the Cardinals late in the draft.||5|
|No. 1 UDFA signing:||Quavian White 5’8 187||CB-Georgia State||214/4th Round||White, an experienced five-year starter, may get some looks at the nickel position for the Cardinals. He is the school’s all-time leader in interceptions and few compete as relentlessly down-to-down.||5|