NFL mock draft: Could Arizona Cardinals replace Patrick Peterson in 2021 NFL draft?
With Patrick Peterson's future with the Arizona Cardinals in question, several recent NFL mock draft projections for the 2021 NFL draft have the team taking a replacement for the cornerback with their No. 1 pick in the draft, the No. 16 pick overall.
They just aren't in agreement as to which cornerback that could be.
Many recent NFL draft projections have the Cardinals taking South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn to fortify their secondary, but other cornerbacks, including Alabama's Patrick Surtain, are among the latest selections for the team.
Check out who NFL mock drafts predict Arizona will take with their first pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and what they are saying about Peterson's future with the organization.
Peterson is set to become a free agent and could have potentially played his last game for the Cardinals.
CBS Sports: Cardinals take South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn
Chris Trapasso writes: "Somewhat of a surprise pick, but with Patrick Peterson bound to hit the free-agent market, the Cardinals go with an athletic specimen to replace him on the boundary."
Pro Football Focus: Cardinals select Alabama CB Patrick Surtain
Anthony Treash writes: "Despite being tasked with playing on an island more than any cornerback in the country, Surtain comes in at No. 1 at his position in PFF grade this year (89.7). Surtain allowed less than 15 yards in coverage in exactly half of his games played, and he never allowed any more than 60 in one outing. Perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of his game this year has been his discipline, as he has yet to commit a single penalty. Surtain has the size, physicality and press skills that teams covet in the NFL."
Sporting News: Cardinals end up with South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn
Vinnie Iyer writes: "The Cardinals are weak in cornerback coverage behind a rejuvenated Patrick Peterson, outside and inside. Horn, the son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn, is getting the due he deserves as a big-time corner. His big two-interception game against Auburn fueled an upset as he was the best player on the field in that game. Horn has good size, length, athleticism and physicality."
CBS Sports: Cardinals pick Georgia CB Tyson Campbell
Ryan Wilson writes: "Campbell is a long, athletic, playmaking corner who had a strong season for the Bulldogs. He'll only get better with more reps and there was already a lot to like from his 2020 tape."
Fansided: Cardinals end up with South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn
Ian Higgins writes: "With the gaping void left in the Arizona Cardinals secondary following the inevitable loss of franchise-cornerback Patrick Peterson, the 2021 NFL Draft offers an opportunity for Arizona to directly replace their isolation-corner with a prospect built in a similar mold. All-Pro safety Budda Baker looks to be one of the few returning members of the Arizona secondary and is in need of a complimenting talent on the opposite side of the hashes. Jaycee Horn is a lengthy six-foot-one corner out of South Carolina who has displayed some of the most impressive isolation man-to-man coverage of any player within the 2021 NFL Draft. Horn takes long strides to keep pace downfield with vertical threats and has a rangy wingspan which helps him to keep a hand in contact with the back hip of the receiver. He is a prototypical man-corner that has become increasingly popular among NFL front offices."
CBS Sports: Cardinals take Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley
Josh Edwards writes: "Arizona is fortunate to land Caleb Farley this late in the first round. Patrick Peterson and the team appear to be headed down a path of separation so Farley slides in to provide the NFC West franchise with a young combination."
Sportsnaut: Cardinals pick South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn
Matt Johnson writes: "For a team that just missed out on the NFL Playoffs, the Arizona Cardinals have a lot of needs. Kyler Murray needs better protection and it would help if this offense had a better vertical threat for his arm. On the defensive side, Chandler Jones would benefit from another edge rusher helping him out. Ultimately, based off the draft board, Horn is the guy. He is a physical corner who can match up in one-on-one coverage and that is something this secondary lacks."
Other NFL mock draft selections for Cardinals
Several sites continue to project Arizona to take Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with their top pick in the draft.
NBC Sports' Glynn Morgan writes of the Cardinals potentially landing the tight end: "A talent like Kyle Pitts, who can stretch the seams of a field and put inordinate pressure on linebackers and safeties covering him, would be invaluable to a team like the Cardinals. Arizona had Hall of Fame talent at its wideout spots this past season, with receivers Larry Fitzgerald and DeAndre Hopkins helming those positions. Kyler Murray in his second year at quarterback looks every bit the part of a future star in the NFL. The Cardinals running attack appears to be in capable hands with versatile running backs, Kenyon Drake and Chase Edmonds. The tight end position was the one area where Arizona lacked explosion or truly threatened defenses. Pitts was all but unstoppable in college (12 touchdown receptions in eight games) and looks to carry over that production into the NFL next season."
Pro Football Network's Ben Rolfe has the Cardinals doing in a different direction: landing Penn State edge rusher Jayson Oweh at No. 16.
He writes: "The Cardinals have a tough decision to make this offseason with Chandler Jones. The Cardinals could open up $15.5 million in cap space by cutting Jones. With just 33 contracted players and $25 million in cap space, the temptation will be there. If they do cut Jones, Jayson Oweh presents an extremely athletic option to replace Jones. If they decide to keep Jones, then Oweh has the opportunity to see how one of the best does it and learn from a player who has had plenty of success."