NFL mock draft: Should Arizona Cardinals pick offensive lineman to protect Kyler Murray?

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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A couple of recent retweets about offensive linemen by Kyler Murray prompted some speculation that the Arizona Cardinals quarterback would like some help on the offensive line in the 2021 season.

Will his team get it in the first round of the NFL draft?

Some recent NFL mock draft projections for the 2021 NFL draft do have the Cardinals taking an offensive lineman with the No. 16 pick in the first round, but several other positions also come up, including wide receiver, cornerback and tight end.

Check out who NFL writers are projecting the Cardinals to take with their first pick in the 2021 NFL draft with the Super Bowl now in the books.

The 2021 draft is scheduled to begin on April 29.

NFL power rankings: Arizona Cardinals worst team in NFC West in 2021?

Speculation:Is Kyler Murray trying to send a message with retweets?

Sporting News: Cardinals choose USC OG Alijah Vera-Tucker

Vinnie Iyer writes: "The Cardinals could use an interior line boost for Kyler Murray and their run-heavy attack. Vera-Tucker has separated from Ohio State's now injured Wyatt Davis as the best such prospect in this class, as he can round out into a complete blocker, also capable of playing outside, with more polish."

Pro Football Focus: Cardinals land Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw

Michael Renner writes: "With the top-three receivers and Kyle Pitts off the board, the Cardinals can go a number of different ways. Darrisaw could not only protect their franchise quarterback, but he can also take their running game to the next level given his 94.5 run-blocking grade in 2019. With Kelvin Beachum on a one-year deal and never being uch a run-blocker, this could be the best long-term option."

Could the Arizona Cardinals select USC's Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft?

Draft Wire: Cardinals select USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker Cardinals take Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle

Chad Reuter writes: "The Cardinals could really use a playmaker to help Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Despite Waddle's explosiveness, his size (5-foot-10, 182 pounds, per school measurements) might keep him from landing within the top dozen picks. (Tavon Austin is the only wideout selected in the top 15 overall picks who measured at 5-foot-10 or shorter at the NFL combine over the past 20 years)."

Bleacher Report: Cardinals go with Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle

Brent Sobleski writes: "The Arizona Cardinals defense needs more help than the team's offense, but some options are too tantalizing to overlook. For example, one mouthwatering possibility is the availability of Alabama's Jaylen Waddle, who could play alongside quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. With Larry Fitzgerald yet to indicate whether he's retiring, the Cardinals can't pass up an explosive target like Waddle in their quest to replace the future first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.  Waddle is dynamic with the ball in his hands and nearly impossible to cover off his stem. His speed would certainly open up possibilities in the Cardinals offense.  An ankle injury slowed him throughout the 2020 campaign. As long as Waddle checks out medically, he'll be in the conversation as a top receiver prospect."

More NFL mock drafts for Cardinals:

Pro Football Network: Cardinals pick Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II

Dalton Miller writes: "Patrick Surtain II could go as high as fourth overall. The Cardinals must be his absolute floor. Surtain is as technically proficient as they come. He’s controlled, yet still physical at the line, and smooth in transition. His ability to carry vertically has been questioned because of his lack of speed, but the real reason he isn’t seen as a home-run pick is his work in a phone booth. Although he’s silky in transition, he does not possess the explosiveness in and out of hard transitions. This hurts him against technically proficient route runners who are also explosive. However, he’s one of the more intelligent players in this draft, no matter the position. In a vastly complex defensive scheme at Alabama, he was consistently in the right place at the right time, and his mental trigger is outstanding. The Cardinals get a steal here at pick 16."

Sportsnaut: Cardinals pick Florida TE Kyle Pitts

Matt Johnson writes: "Let’s get unconventional for the Cardinals. While tight end may not seem like the biggest need, Kyle Pitts is so much more than his listed position. He is a 6-foot-6 weapon that no one can guard, using size and athleticism that terrorizes opponents. Kliff Kingsbury may not be the biggest fan of tight ends, but Pitts is a generational talent at the position. He’ll be a security blanket for Kyler Murray and a playmaker in this passing attack."

Newsday: Cardinals land Georgia CB Eric Stokes

Nick Klopsis writes: "Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick are impending free agents. Eric Stokes is a long press corner with the speed to stay in lockstep with any receiver."

Sports Illustrated: Cardinals take Georgia CB Eric Stokes

Alex Gilstrap writes: "Arizona plays a lot of press-man coverage on the outside and with Patrick Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick and other members of the cornerback room likely changing places this offseason, the Cardinals’ front office has to be able to reload at the position. Here, they thankfully get a talented athlete that can play a versatile coverage role at the next level. With elite speed and showing the ability to turn the football over in 2020, Stokes has the tools to play in this fun, athletic defense for years to come."

NFL redraft:Cardinals should have picked CeeDee Lamb over Isaiah Simmons Cardinals end up with South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn

Ian Wharton writes: "There’s a lot of needs on the Arizona Cardinals roster and limited money to make some of the holes disappear. It’s shocking to see general manager Steve Keim still in position after so many missed picks and signings. He and coach Kliff Kingsbury are facing the heat after a disappointing end to 2020. Deciding between an edge rusher and cornerback will be a tough call. Patrick Peterson looked done last year, and Dre Kirkpatrick isn’t worth his bloated salary. Getting a premier cornerback on the roster is a must. The South Carolina stud has everything needed to help right away. He has elite length, instincts, and ball skills."

CBS Sports: Cardinals choose Michigan DL Kwity Paye

Ryan Wilson writes: "Chandler Jones will be a free agent after the 2021 season, and the Cardinals could use an explosive young pass rusher. Paye is just scratching the surface on what he can do -- once experience catches up with athleticism, he could be dominant."

Uproar:Cardinals fans stew over Murray's omission on great NFL quarterbacks list

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