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APC Community Mock Draft 2022: The Cardinals are set to pick at no. 23

After the Packers selected Chris Olave, the Cardinals are on the clock at 23.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers fans seem ecstatic. Wide receiver Chris Olave fell to the Packers at 22 in the APC Community Mock Draft, and the votes were overwhelming for him to be the team’s pick with the first of two round-one selections. Now we will wait a few more picks and a few more days to see who is still available at 28.

The first of the intervening picks belongs to the Arizona Cardinals at 23. After a start to last season as hot as the valley where the team is located, the Cardinals cooled off, finishing 4-7 (including a first-round playoff exit) after a 7-0 start. To make matters worse, Arizona is in the midst of a rocky off-season. The most important piece of news is without a doubt the ongoing contract dispute with star quarterback Kyler Murray. He is currently not present at voluntary workouts and while this wouldn’t be a big deal in ordinary circumstances, things are weird in the desert right now. Murray is entering the 4th year of his contract and is not expected to play without a new one. Despite this, it’s still likely that Murray is the Cardinals’ QB this season. But as we’ve seen with a few high-profile trades this spring, anything is possible.

The Cardinals were fairly quiet in free agency with their only notable additions being Will Hernandez, who is expected to compete for the starting right guard spot, and Jeff Gladney, who will be one of the team’s top three corners and can play outside or in the slot. With Andrew Booth still on the board, the Cardinals can acquire their new CB1. The Clemson product has prototypical size and can be a shut-down corner with more experience.

Christian Kirk departed for a lucrative deal with the Jaguars that put the WR market in flux, meaning the Cardinals will have a hole at receiver. The team struggled without Deandre Hopkins last year and could use another top option. Treylon Burks is available and would provide a bigger target than Rondale Moore. His unique skill set would be a boon for this team should Hopkins miss any time.

Chandler Jones was the biggest loss for the team. While not necessarily unexpected, his departure leaves a massive hole at edge. George Karlaftis is available and would be a dream pick for the team. Replacing Jones will be a group effort and Karlaftis could lead the charge.

Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Booth Jr. was a standout for Clemson in 2021 despite their disappointing season. The CB led the team with three interceptions and added five pass breakups on his way to a Second Team All-ACC nod. Booth is a physical corner with good size and the agility needed to close on throws and make plays. He is an aggressive tackler but occasionally leaves his feet too early and whiffs. Hip fluidity and balance allow him to excel in man and zone coverage and his burst helps cover any mistakes. Booth has been limited in the pre-draft process due to injury but should still see his name called in the first round.

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Burks is a magnet for big plays. His linebacker-like size gives him the ability to break any play open by breaking tackles. He is an underdeveloped route runner but is served well by his ability to track the ball and widen his catch radius. The Deebo Samuel comps may be a bit overblown, but the dynamism Burks possesses is no joke. He didn’t jump off the board with his combine testing, which has muted his hype as a WR1, but NFL teams will drool over the possibilities of getting him the ball and watching him go to work.

George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Despite his first taste of football coming at age 13 after moving to Indiana from Greece, Karlaftis exploded onto the scene with a breakout freshman year in 2019. After missing time in 2020, he returned in 2020 to post five sacks and three forced fumbles in 12 games, receiving third-team All-American honors along the way. At 6’4”, 275 lbs., his sheer size should provide some versatility to play inside. His lack of bend is noticeable but could be offset by solid hand usage and raw athleticism. Karlaftis may be raw, but he already possesses a level of power and refinement to his game that should serve him well from day 1.


Who will the Cardinals select at no. 23?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
    (134 votes)
  • 32%
    Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
    (146 votes)
  • 37%
    George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
    (165 votes)
445 votes total Vote Now

The Cardinals have plenty of options to fill their biggest holes here. Burks would give them a dynamic offensive player, Booth would give them a future shut down corner, and Karlaftis could replace some of Chandler Jones’ production. Be sure to vote here and on Twitter (@acmepackingco) and check back tomorrow for the Cowboys and Bills’ picks at 24 and 25.