NFL Combine

Five First Round Targets to Watch at the Combine for the Cardinals

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By Alexander Mann February 28, 2020 0 Comment
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The NFL has descended on Indianapolis for their yearly NFL Scouting Combine. Coaches and General Managers are all searching for the next big name that will put their roster over the top and on their way
to a Super Bowl.

The Arizona Cardinals are no different. Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury attend their second Combine
together, just a year after drafting Kyler Murray to help lead their franchise. With the team not looking
for a quarterback of the future, they’re able to set their eyes on who best helps their 22-year old signal
caller lead the franchise to their first Super Bowl victory.

There are plenty of holes to fill on this roster. A case could be made for any number of players with the
8 th overall pick. Fans know what the Defense provided last year, and just how much it needs to improve
if the team intends to compete. Or perhaps they solidify an offensive line that has been an issue for too
long now. Or just maybe they pair Kyler with a familiar collegiate face. Here is my list of 10 players that
the Cardinals could take with their first pick, and why you should keep an eye on them this week.

1) CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

We start with what seems to be the biggest fan favorite. Lamb makes sense for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that he already has a rapport with Murray. That’s one less hurdle he would have to face in the NFL. Lamb has good speed, not elite, and the defenses he faced in the Big 12 are nothing truly special. He has a tough road ahead to translate his natural gifts to the NFL level, but he will be more than capable.

2) Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Jeudy and Lamb are likely WR 1A and 1B for the 2020 draft. The key differences between the two is their speed and their hands. Jeudy is the faster of the two, but is also prone to dropping some routine catches. Jeudy can run the full route tree, and does it fairly well. Fans may find concern in his drops, but if Jeudy can land in a spot with, say, a future HOF WR, it would be a perfect spot for him to develop.

3) A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

Epenesa for whatever reason isn’t getting a lot of the attention I feel he deserves. Perhaps it could tie into the fact that this class is heavy on the defense side of the ball. Or that the man ahead of him on so many charts, is likely the man who goes #2 overall. Chase Young. However, when I watch Epenesa, I honestly see a lot of Chandler Jones, especially the way he attacks the football in the Quarterabacks hands. Epenesa is believed to be a 4-3 only type of player, but I do think he could play a 3-4 opposite of Chandler.

4) Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn

Brown is considered by many the top DL prospect in the 2020 draft. In my eyes, he is already what Robert Nkemdiche was supposed to be for the Cardinals, with still plenty of room to grow. I do think he could be a Day 1 starter for the Cardinals, but with Corey Peters still on the roster, it would not be a necessity to throw him into the fire. The duo of Brown and Allen in the Front 7 is a scary proposition.

5) Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

If Brown is the top DL in this upcoming draft, Kinlaw is right behind him in line nipping on his
heels. A Senior Bowl standout, Kinlaw has become one of the fast risers this draft process. A
great combine performance could very well vault him from a possible top-10 pick, to a lock top-
10 pick. Kinlaw has such a fantastic get off, that he’s consistently in plays. If he isn’t making the
stop in the backfield, he’s blowing up the play enough to allow his support to clean up.

Clearly there are more. There are several Tackle prospects that the Cardinals could keep an eye on.
There have been more rumblings about a possible Jeffrey Okudah slide, or even adding another LSU
corner in Kristian Fulton to play opposite of Patrick Peterson. We’re still two months away from
finally figuring out who the Cardinals will nab at 8 th overall, but for now, it’s always fun to speculate.
With Free Agency right after the Combine, we could get a clearer picture at who the pick is.

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