NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals select offensive lineman after DeAndre Hopkins trade
The Arizona Cardinals shook up NFL mock draft projections earlier this week when the team traded for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans.
Adding Hopkins to a wide receiver core that already includes Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk has shifted the team's selections in predictions for the 2020 NFL draft.
After long being linked to wide receivers CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma and Jerry Jeudy of Alabama, recent NFL mock drafts are almost certain that the Cardinals will draft an offensive linemen with their first pick in the draft, the No. 8 overall selection.
We looked at 10 new draft projections for the Cardinals and nine of them had Arizona adding protection for Kyler Murray on the offensive line.
Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr. was the most common pick, with five of those nine mock drafts projecting him to land in Arizona.
Three of the others had Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton as the Cardinals' selection. One of them had Arizona trading down and taking Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.
The lone non-offensive lineman pick for the Cardinals in recent projections was Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who would be a tantalizing option for Arizona should he be available when the team makes its first-round pick.
Check out the latest first-round NFL mock draft projections for the Arizona Cardinals in the 2020 NFL draft after the DeAndre Hopkins trade.
MORE:NFL mock draft: Previous selections for Arizona Cardinals
USA TODAY Sports: Cardinals go with Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz writes: "Landing wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and unloading running back David Johnson's contract in the same trade constitutes a major coup. For Kliff Kingsbury to unleash his offense's true potential, however, the line should be upgraded. A potential fixture for any front, Wills is adept in both the pass and run games."
CBS Sports: Cardinals pick Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville
Josh Edwards writes: "Arizona retained D.J. Humphries, but it needs more from the position. Whether he plays left or right tackle, Becton is an important addition to protect mobile quarterback Kyler Murray. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins frees the Cardinals up to make some different choices here."
Sports Illustrated: Cardinals take Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville
Corey Parson writes: "The Cardinals have big plans to improve their offense. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins via trade proved that fact. Mekhi Becton is a 6-foot-7, 369-pound swing tackle. He is a big guy but he moves very well. The Cardinals need to improve their offensive line to show real improvements."
Bleacher Report: Cardinals end up with Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
MORE:NFL mock draft: Projecting all six Arizona Cardinals picks in 2020 NFL draft
Fox Sports: Cardinals take Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Jason McIntyre writes: "Anyone that had slated a receiver to the Cardinals here can forget it. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins — a heist of a deal with Houston – makes Arizona playoff contenders in the NFC. Next order of business is to protect Kyler Murray."
247 Sports: Cardinals trade down with Cleveland Browns, take Andrew Thomas, OL, Georgia at No. 10
Lance Cartelli writes: "Arizona's risky trade back almost backfires on them, but the Cardinals are able to add the Georgia offensive lineman. Thomas is one of the better run blockers in the draft."
MORE:NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals' 2020 NFL draft suspense increases after NFL combine
Sporting News: Cardinals go with Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Vinnie Iyer writes: "With Becton going to the Giants, this is an easy pick for the Cardinals given they already addressed their need for a No. 1 wide receiver by trading for DeAndre Hopkins. They can opt for Wills at right tackle after re-signing D.J. Humphries on the left side. The 6-4, 312-pound Wills is a strong, powerful run-blocker who needs a little time to develop into an elite pass-protector."
Sports Illustrated: Cardinals land Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Kevin Hanson writes: "After stealing away DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans, it’s less likely that the Cardinals will reunite Kyler Murray with his former Oklahoma teammate CeeDee Lamb, a prospect that has drawn comparisons to Hopkins. Even though the Cardinals re-signed D.J. Humphries to a three-year deal and right tackle Justin Murray played better as the season progressed, Wills would give the offensive line an immediate upgrade. A two-year starter at right tackle for the Tide, Wills is dominant as a run blocker and his outstanding movement skills should allow him to play either tackle spot at the next level."
MORE:Possibilities are endless if do-it-all defender Isaiah Simmons falls to Cardinals at No. 8
Just Blog Baby: Cardinals go with Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville
Nick Ellis writes: "The Arizona Cardinals fixed their wide receiver problem in a major way as the legal tampering period kicked off, trading with the Houston Texans for DeAndre Hopkins. With Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald atop the depth chart at wide receiver, the Cardinals can shift their focus to the offensive line, where they add Mekhi Becton from Louisville to team with D.J. Humphries at tackle next season."
NFL.com: Cardinals select Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Lance Zierlein writes: "The guess here is that Arizona won't be expecting to see Simmons on the board, but if he is, he may be too enticing to pass up. Plugging in an OT here is an easy move, but Tristan Wirfs doesn't offer the same potential impact as Simmons."