Perfect Picks 2024: Arizona Cardinals

By Lee Wakefield

Welcome to another edition of Perfect Picks, today I am selecting for the Arizona Cardinals. Thanks to some masterful movements around the draft board twelve months ago, Arizona has a whole load of ammo moving into the 2024 NFL Draft. General Manager Monti Ossenfort manoeuvred and worked the phones so that he was able to put in motion the first steps of his Cardinals rehabilitation plan last year and set the team up wonderfully for this. With seven picks inside the first 104, Arizona has the ammo to either sit at those selections and take players who will make a difference to their team and depth in year 1. Or Ossenfort has the capital to slide up and down the board securing the players that he and his team have identified as their next cornerstones.

Across their eleven picks, Arizona has the third most draft capital in terms of points via the trade value chart of SportsLine’s R.J. White. However, the number one team on that list is the Chicago Bears, whose total is boosted by the first overall selection and only holds three further picks after that. The Commanders and Cardinals, who rank second and third, really do own the draft in terms of high-value picks and the sheer amount, so the 2024 draft is one that Arizona must take advantage of. Get it right and this draft can catapult the Cardinals towards a much brighter future.

Round 1 - Marvin Harrison Jr., Wide Receiver, Ohio State

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With the likelihood of quarterbacks being taken in the first three picks of the draft, without a further trade up from a team willing to come and nab the fourth QB, it leaves the Cardinals to take the number one player on their board.

In this case, that is Marvin Harrison Jr., who might be the number one overall player on the boards of a high number of teams this year.

Marvin Harrison Jr., son of the Hall of Fame and legendary Colts receiver of the same name is the best receiver that many of the scouting community have ever evaluated. The floor is so unbelievably high that expectations are that at the very minimum that the Cardinals are getting a top-10 receiver for the majority of his career, with the ceiling being truly unlimited.

Harrison Jr. is a route-running extraordinaire who has speed, agility, and strength at the catch point to be a team’s number-one receiver from the moment he steps into the NFL. Comfortable out wide or in the slot, expect Harrison to get WR1 targets and produce alongside the best of the best from as early as his rookie year.

As much as Arizona might want to trade down and accumulate more draft picks, seeing Marvin Harrison go to the Chargers at pick five and potentially following his Dad into the Hall, could be a risky move.

To add to Harrison, the Cardinals have a second first-round pick, which I used to draft Byron Murphy of Texas. I wrote about him in the Houston Texans version of Perfect Picks here.

Round 2 - Zach Frazier, Center, West Virginia

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The Cardinals’ interior offensive line needs to be beefed up, which is why I am addressing this early, by taking center Zach Frazier, but also taking a guard later on too – See below for the draft in full.

The starting tackle positions look to be sorted, with free agent signing, Jonah Williams joining last year’s sixth overall pick, Paris Johnson Jr., which leaves me free to focus on the interior.

Frazier suffered a broken leg late in West Virginia’s season, however, he has now been cleared to return to football for non-contact drills and met teams earlier this month at the Scouting Combine.

Frazier is a center-only prospect, which for the Cardinals is fine, since they need a long-term upgrade at that spot. He is also a four-time state wrestling champion in high school, skills which have always translated to playing on the offensive line in the NFL.

Frazier is experienced, having started 37 collegiate games, and is a mauler and tone-setter on the line at 6’2, 313lbs. Much like Marvin Harrison Jr., you draft him and forget about the position for a long time with this selection.

Mid-Round Gem - Andru Phillips, Cornerback, Kentucky

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During free agency, Arizona brought in cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting to lock up one of their outside corner spots. However, they could use some competition opposite him to further strengthen their secondary.

Kentucky’s Andru Phillips is one of my favourite mid-round corners, which makes him a great pick in this spot, just outside the draft’s top 100.

A nice mix of length and athleticism, Phillips is a high-quality corner whose strength is his zone defense due to his reading of the game and strong run-support capabilities.

Phillips’ lack of ball production – he has zero college interceptions – will hurt his draft stock but if a team like the Cardinals needs a long-term CB2 and plays a bunch of zone coverage like Jonathan Gannon does, Phillips is a great fit.

Phillips is a little undersized but has good instincts and feel for the position. He tested well and in particular recorded excellent numbers in both broad and vertical jumps, which showed his explosive leap could make up for a detriment in height.

His short-area quickness also makes him a candidate to move into the nickel corner spot, especially because he’s such a strong run defender, should Arizona want to upgrade on the outside at a later date. 

Late Round Sleeper - Kitan Oladapo, Safety, Oregon State

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With Budda Baker tied down long-term, how about grabbing him a potential future running mate on day 3 of the draft?

Kitan Oladapo is a versatile safety who can dovetail with Baker, playing either safety position as Baker moves around the defensive backfield. Oladapo is a physical player with good size and movement skills.

Oladapo is a strong tackler who will not only push Jalen Thompson in the safety rotation, but also projects as an extremely valuable special teamer, something that is always a factor for teams making their picks on day 3.

Oladapo could begin his career on special teams, maybe even as a core-four player, before making his ascent to the starting line up. The potential is shown in his ability to get his hands on the football with 23 passes defended across four seasons in Corvallis, an ability he showed in Senior Bowl drills

Oladapo is a day 3 player because he’s not an exceptional athlete, and does not possess elite long speed. That said, I think he’s got enough in that department, and his motor and physicality add to his value and his potential to become a starter later down the line.

Draft In Full:

Round 1 – Marvin Harrison Jr, WR, Ohio State

Round 1 – Byron Murphy II, IDL, Texas

Round 2 – Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

Round 3 – Chris Braswell, Edge, Alabama

Round 3 – Will Shipley, RB, Clemson

Round 3 – Andru Phillips, CB, Kentucky

Round 4 – Brandon Coleman, IOL, TCU

Round 5 – Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State

Round 5 – Kitan Oladapo, S, Oregon State

Round 6 – Jordan Whittington, WR, Texas

Round 7 – Omar Speights, LB, LSU

Feature Image Credit: NBC Sports

Lee Wakefield

NFL Draft Contributor

Lee Wakefield has covered the NFL and College Football for a number of publications, including Full 10 Yards & First And 10. Chargers Sufferer. Currently a contributor for With THe First Pick. @Wakefield90 on twitter.