NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals pick wide receiver No. 8 in 2020 NFL draft? Not so fast
A couple of weeks ago most NFL mock drafts had the Arizona Cardinals taking a wide receiver with the No. 8 pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
A lot can change in a couple of weeks.
Many of the most recent projections for the 2020 draft now have the Cardinals choosing to go with an offensive lineman with their first selection in the first round of the draft, which will be held on Thursday, April 23.
Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, Georgia OT Andrew Thomas and Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs are popular picks for the Cardinals with that selection as recent NFL mock drafts put more of a premium on the Cardinals protecting quarterback Kyler Murray over giving him another target in the passing game.
Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy still show up in recent mock drafts for the Cardinals, but they aren't currently near as trendy selections as they were a couple of weeks ago.
Iowa edge rusher A.J. Epenesa is also listed as an options for the Cardinals with the No. 8 pick.
Check out the latest NFL mock draft projections for the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft:
NFL.com: Cardinals select Georgia OT Andrew Thomas
Bucky Brooks writes: "Upgrading the protection around Kyler Murray is a top priority for the Cardinals."
NFL.com: Cardinals pick Alabama OT Jedrick Wills
Lance Zierlein writes: "Tackle depth in this draft allows the Cardinals an opportunity to let their free agents at the position walk and feel safe about landing a quality OT here."
ESPN: Cardinals go with Georgia OT Andrew Thomas
Mel Kiper Jr. wrote: "This is about the range in which we could see a run on offensive tackles, and Thomas, who has played on both the left and right, is No. 1 on my board. I debated going with a receiver here; wouldn’t Kyler Murray’s former teammate CeeDee Lamb enjoy catching a few more long touchdown passes from his friend? But this comes down to protecting the franchise quarterback, and Arizona desperately needs help along its line, particularly at left tackle, where starter D.J. Humphries is a free agent. The Cardinals also have some defensive deficiencies, so keep an eye on a defensive back, too."
CBS Sports: Cardinals take Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb
Chris Trapasso writes: "The Cardinals' low-key need receiver help, even if they're expecting a big jump from KeeSean Johnson and Andy Isabella in 2020. Plus, they'll get Hakeem Butler back from injury. Either way, Lamb is a perfect, familiar fit with Kyler Murray."
Walter Football: Cardinals end up with Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy
It writes: "What a steal to get Jerry Jeudy at No. 8 overall! Larry Fitzgerald won't be around much longer, so the Cardinals need a No. 1 receiving option to complement Christian Kirk. Jeudy is a height-weight-speed freak in the mold of a Julio Jones. He's the next great Alabama receiver, and he has a good chance of being a top-five selection."
The Draft Network: Cardinals choose Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs
Joe Marino writes: "This is such a great fit. Tristan Wirfs is arguably the most physically gifted offensive linemen in this class, and he should be an exceptional pass blocker in the NFL. After Kyler Murray was sacked on over eight percent of his dropbacks in 2019, improving his protection is paramount in addition to Murray getting the ball out quicker. Wirfs is a mauler in the run game but what really gets me excited about Wirfs in Arizona is his outstanding ability to hit blocks on the move. The ability to connect with moving targets in space will be a major asset in Kliff Kingsbury’s screen game and run game concepts."
SB Nation: Cardinals go with Alabama OT Jedrick Wills
Dan Kadar writes: "Somebody please block for Kyler Murray. He is one of this country’s national treasures. Imagine him making a jump in his development like Lamar Jackson did this season. Murray has the natural talent to do it, but he needs a lot of help around him."
247 Sports: Cardinals pick Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb
Lance Cartelli writes: "The Cardinals really need help on the offensive line and defense, but Arizona just can't pass up on Kyler Murray's former college teammate. Lamb should immediately become the No. 1 receiver on an underrated Cards squad."
Fansided: Cardinals select Iowa edge rusher A.J. Epenesa
Nick Ellis writes: "With the No. 8 overall pick, the Arizona Cardinals add another solid pass rusher to compliment Chandler Jones in A.J. Epenesa from Iowa. Considering the Cardinals have had one of the best pass rushers in the NFL for a few years now, the team's total sack number should be much higher, and Epenesa can help make that a reality."
Athlon Sports: Cardinals take Alabama OT Jedrick Wills
Bryan Fischer writes: "Nobody is happier that teams got a little QB-happy earlier than the Cardinals, who land what might be the most talented guy at his position in a very deep class of tackles. While he didn't play in an Air Raid system in college, his athleticism and quality pass-blocking reps for a QB who moves well in the pocket should allow him to slide right in out in the desert."
CBS Sports: Cardinals end up with Alabama OT Jedrick Wills
Ryan Wilson writes: "The Cardinals need to get better up front; the O-line ranked 21st in run blocking and 26th in pass blocking, according to Football Outsiders. Wills had a strong junior season for the Crimson Tide and was arguably one of the best players on the roster."
NFL.com: Cardinals pick Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs
Daniel Jeremiah writes: "The Cardinals need to protect their investment in Kyler Murray. Some believe Wirfs will stay at tackle in the NFL, but I see him as an All-Pro-caliber guard at the next level."