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Cardinal TV - Cardinal Columns - Yearbook

We Are Cardinals

Cardinal TV - Cardinal Columns - Yearbook

We Are Cardinals

1st annual Cardinal Columns Mock Draft

Cardinal Column’s anointed NFL analyst predicts the first 32 picks
2024 Draft stage rendering via

There are seven months between the Superbowl and kickoff of the next NFL season. In this time we gluttonous fans are deprived of the greatest American sport. So how do we fill this hole we are left with? Other sports leagues perhaps. Spend precious time with our families maybe. But the best solution, obsess over the gifted athletes who have declared for this year’s NFL Draft. On Thursday April 25, 32 men will hear their name called and have their lives forever changed when an NFL Franchise selects them to their organization.

“Mock Draft” season is truly a special time for every NFL fan base. While no games are being played, fans continuously predict and guess as to which players will go to which teams. A typical mock draft will follow the first 32 picks or what’s called the first round. For these 32 picks, people will give their opinions on who each team should be taking with their pick. So with the draft right around the corner I present to you the Cardinal Columns 1st Annual NFL Mock Draft.

#1- Chicago Bears

Caleb Williams QB, USC. The only pick in this draft that I feel safe calling 100%. Williams has been touted as a generational talent akin to Andrew Luck. The Bears traded away Justin Fields and are in desperate need of a Franchise Quarterback that can stabilize and lead them into the future.

#2- Washington Commanders

Jayden Daniels QB, LSU. The Commanders are in a similar place as the Bears. They suck and need a guy who can lead their team. Of course they weren’t able to secure that first overall selection so they have to choose between the next two guys. The 2023 Heisman winner is going to be an explosive conduit for this team as they try to rebuild their franchise from the ashes of Ron Rivera and Dan Snyder.

#3- New England Patriots

Drake Maye QB, UNC. It’s a new era in New England as the once dynasty is back to square one entirely with a brand new coach and a need at quarterback. Maye is a boy scout who can help to refine the Patriots vision for their future. However the Patriots are far more than a Quarterback away from where they once were, so a trade out of #3 is in the question but as of right now I think they sit tight and draft their guy.

#4- Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr WR, OSU. With Kyler Murray safely in position as the Cardinals QB, getting him an elite weapon is top priority. Harrison is the son of Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison Sr and lived up to his name-sake at OSU. 8 months ago he was being talked about as the possible #1 overall pick. But with three quarterback needy teams ahead, he falls right into the Cardinals lap.

#5- Minnesota Vikings via a Trade with the LA Chargers.

JJ McCarthy QB, Michigan. Every year some teams are going to make draft day trades to either move up or down the board. I predict the Vikings bite the bullet on this one, giving up both of their first round picks and more to LA for this pick. The Chargers now have multiple picks to renovate their team under Jim Harbarough. Meanwhile the Vikings are desperate for a QB after Kirk Cousins exit. JJ might now be on the same level as the first three QBs but Minnesota seems desperate enough to make a move when every other team in their division has found their guy.

#6- New York Giants

Brock Bowers TE, Georgia. The Giants for better or worse are stuck with Daniel Jones. They need to get a guaranteed weapon for him here and that is what Bowers is. With Darren Waller contemplating retirement all offseason they need a tight end anyway. Bowers is the only other sure fire offensive weapon in this class behind Harrison Jr and the Giants will make him the 3rd tight end to be drafted 6th overall in NFL history.

#7- Tennessee Titans

Joe Alt T, Notre Dame. The Titans have made moves all offseason that make it seem like they want to compete. It shows faith in Will Levis as their QB and they will invest in protection for him here with the best tackle in the class.

#8- Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Turner ED, Alabama. The Falcons have loaded up on offense and now need to start bulking the defense if they want to compete. Adding someone to rush the passer is a top priority and they’ll land on Turner out of ‘Bama.

#9- Chicago Bears

Jared Verse ED, Florida State. With a rounded out offense, The Bears will look to pair up someone opposite of Montez Sweat and Jared Verse is the best guy available so that’s who they’ll get. Taking a receiver here is possible but the Bears have made offensive investments all offseason and would probably like another playmaker on the defense.

#10- New York Jets

Malik Nabers WR, LSU. Aaron Rodgers is back after a year being injured and the Jets are going all in. They’ve revamped the offensive line and still have a good defense. They’ll add another guy for Rodgers to throw to here with Nabers.

#11- LA Chargers

Rome Odunze WR, Washington. LA had to gut their wide receiver room this year for cap reasons. Now after trading back they are still able to get one of the top three receivers in the class. Herbert needs another weapon and they are lucky that Odunze reaches them.

#12- Denver Broncos

Laiatu Latu ED, UCLA. Denver has no answer at quarterback right now and a lot of holes to fill. No QB is worth taking at twelve. Their best option here is to take the guy who will help their defense the most and that’s Latu. People say he has injury problems but his ability as a pass rusher is too valuable to pass up for Denver. They’ll pick him and come back around for a QB later in the draft.

#13- Las Vegas Raiders

Terrion Arnold CB, Alabama. The Raiders are another team with lots of question marks. Last year they won games by riding the defense and with no QB’s worth taking still, they’ll grab a corner who can hopefully help in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Arnold is the most well rounded guy in the class and they should be happy he is here for them at 13.

#14- New Orleans Saints

Olumuyiwa Fashanu T, Penn State. The Saints are in purgatory. They don’t really suck but they also are not good. Derek Carr isn’t the answer but with their cap situation they haven’t had an opportunity to figure things out. With one of their tackles hurt and contemplating retirement, they’ll play it safe and draft Fashanu here to fill that gap.

#15- Indianapolis Colts

Cooper DeJean CB, Iowa. The Colts have a well rounded team that is looking to compete in what has become a stacked AFC South. They could look to add another weapon for Anthony Richardson here but they’ll settle on DeJean. He’s a very versatile corner that can move back to safety if need be, who will definitely help against guys like Trevor Lawrence and CJ Stroud.

#16- Kansas City Chiefs via a trade with the Seattle Seahawks

Brian Thomas Jr. WR, LSU. The Chiefs are hungry. Their mindset this year is all in on a three-peat. With controversies and uncertainty at wide receiver now, they’ll make an offer the Seahawks can’t refuse to jump 15 other teams and take the best receiver available.

#17- Jacksonville Jaguars

Nate Wiggins CB, Clemson. Another positional need for the Jags here. They need help at cornerback and are gonna bite on Nate Wiggins who shined at the combine. The Clemson connections in the locker room will also make this a favorable pick.

#18- Cincinnati Bengals

Jer’Zhan Newton DI, Illinois. The Bengals want to bounce back this year and need to bolster their defensive line. Newton is a powerful influence on the interior who will make a difference for them right away.

#19- Los Angeles Rams

Byron Murphy II DI, Texas. An easy pick for the Rams here with their first first round pick since 2016. They take Murphy who will hopefully fill the hole left by Aaron Donald retiring.

#20- Pittsburgh Steelers

Jackson Powers-Johnson C, Oregon. Johnson is the best center in the class and Pittsburgh missed out on every free agent center this offseason. They need somebody powerful in the middle if they want to be as run heavy as they always have been and that is what JPJ gives them.

#21- San Francisco 49ers via a trade with Miami Dolphins

Troy Fautanu T, Washington. The 49ers fell short again this year and need to make an upgrade at O-line if they want another shot. They’ll get the deal done with Miami to move up and draft more protection for Purdy.

#22- Philadelphia Eagles

Quinyon Mitchell CB, Toledo. The Eagles cornerback room consists of two 30 year old men and unproven guys. They need more help so they’ll take the best guy available in Quinyon Mitchell. He had a great combine showing and can be a week one starter for them.

#23- LA Chargers

Mike Sainristil CB, Michigan. Chargers need more cornerback help so Harbough will turn to a guy he won the National Championship with in order to refine that room. It doesn’t entirely make sense considering the other guys still on the board but draft night always has a few surprises.

#24- Dallas Cowboys

Amarious Mims T, Georgia. The Cowboys need a guy to protect Dak now after losing Tyron Smith in free agency. Mims is a high upside prospect who can be molded into their new franchise tackle.

#25- Green Bay Packers

Graham Barton T, Duke. The Packers have a hole in their line after releasing Bakhtiari. Barton is a versatile and talented tackle who they can move around and play their best football with.

#26- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kool-Aid Mckinstry CB, Alabama. Atlanta is threatening to take the division away from the Bucs. Adding Kool-Aid is their best chance to try and rival them for the division next year. They’re running it back with Baker and Mike Evans, and they need another corner after trading Carlton Davis away.

#27- Arizona Cardinals

Ennis Rakestraw Jr. CB, Missouri. The Cardinals would probably like to move back from this pick if possible but I don’t think they’ll have any buyers or offers they like. It might be an overdraft but they’ll take Rakestraw here to help with a barron secondary outside of Budda Baker.

#28- Buffalo Bills

Adonai Mitchell WR, Texas. Bills are probably going receiver with their pick after trading away Stefon Diggs. They need someone that Josh can huck it up to on a whim and Mitchell is the best guy still on the board who they can do that with.

#29- Detroit Lions

Chop Robinson ED, Penn State. The Lions came so close to the superbowl this year and are back for round two. They retained Ben Johnson for the offense so adding another pass rusher to bolster the defense is what they do. It would be an overdraft to take any of the available corners here so taking Chop to pair with Hutchinson is the best move.

#30- Baltimore Ravens

Taliese Fuaga T, Oregon State. Baltimore is always rotating guys in and out of the offensive line and after trading Morgan Moses they didn’t add anybody substantial in free agency. Fuaga will be a nice addition to the line who can hopefully develop into their starter.

#31- Miami Dolphins

Tyler Guyton T, Oklahoma. Miami wants to bomb the ball downfield to one of their speedsters. Adding extra protection for Tua gives them the ability to do that better and more often.

#32- Seattle Seahawks

Michael Penix Jr. QB, Washington. Seattle has said that Geno is the starter but I think they’ll fall in love with the boy next door and hope to develop him into their future starter over time. Penix will learn from Geno and be integrated into the league, but I don’t see him starting until year two.

Thus concludes the Cardinal Columns First Annual Mock Draft. We wait excitedly for draft night more and more as it approaches. Hopefully if you’ve read all this you’ll be watching as we are to see where exactly all these talented young men end up. We here at Cardinal Columns wish a happy draft night to all who celebrate.

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About the Contributor
Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg, Staff Writer
Michael Bloomberg is a senior student at Fond du Lac High School. He has lived in Fond du Lac all his life and is undecided on life after high school. He works part-time at Walmart as a cart pusher and writes for print journalism class. His expertise is in movies and entertainment as well as professional sports.