Cardinals ‘All In’ on ‘Rising Star’ Washington CB: Report

Trent McDuffie

Getty Images Trent McDuffie looks on before a game in 2021.

With the NFL draft approaching on April 28, the Arizona Cardinals need key help in several positions.

The defensive line and wide receiver groups are currently lacking after the losses of Chandler Jones and Christian Kirk in free agency.

At the same time, the Cardinals could go a number of ways with their 23rd overall pick.

There is buzz involving the Cardinals and what their potential thought process could be when they’re on the clock.

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NFL Insider Drops Cardinals Nugget

NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported the Cardinals, including the Bills, Saints, Ravens and Eagles, are “all in” on Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie.

Schultz called McDuffie a “rising star” and that an assistant GM told Schultz the young cornerback is, a “super smart, shutdown corner; does everything well; plays big, covers size and speed; love how he flys around and tackles.”

On March 8, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay pegged McDuffie being drafted to the Cardinals in his latest mock. He spoke glowingly about the 5’11, 193 pounds defensive back.

“He’s a really good all-around player, real instinctive and I think the best tackling corner in this class,” McShay said concerning McDuffie, “and can make a combination of zone and man and do different things.”

The Cardinals have Washington alumni throughout their defense. All-Pro safety Budda Baker, cornerback Byron Murphy and linebacker Zeke Turner all have ties to Washington.

ESPN analyst Mina Kimes raved on McDuffie’s closing speed and knack for making soul-crushing hits.

Former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum mocked McDuffie to the Eagles, one of the teams interested in the cornerback. The Cardinals could find difficulty drafting McDuffie, as the Eagles own picks 15, 16 and 19.

McDuffie is viewed by league circles as one of the top cover corners in the draft and Tannebaum agrees.

“He allowed just 3.8 yards per pass attempt thrown his way last season, which tied for the third-best number in college football, and he can play in man or zone schemes,” said Tannebaum.

Look for Cardinals to Prioritize Other Areas

Any team knows they can never have enough cornerbacks, especially with the amount of talent at wide receiver in the NFC West (Cooper Kupp, DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel). But the Cardinals signed former first-round cornerback Jeff Gladney to a two-year contract and the team loves 2021 third-round pick Marco Wilson. Remember, the Cardinals could also re-sign familiar face Robert Alford, who’s currently a free agent.

In the meantime, the Cardinals have had no true answers on their defensive line and wide receiver group during free agency. J.J. Watt and Markus Golden are over 30 years old and could use a youngster to bolster Vance Joseph’s defense. And after DeAndre Hopkins, the receiving core needs another weapon alongside Rondale Moore.

NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s pegged the Cardinals landing Arkansas WR Treylon Burks.

“The Cardinals lost Christian Kirk in free agency, and Burks could slide right into that role,” Jeremiah wrote.

CBS Sports’ Kyle Stackpole had the Cardinals walking away with arguably the steal of the first round: Georgia champion DT Jordan Davis.

“The release of Jordan Phillips means the Cardinals could use an immediate starter at nose tackle. Enter Davis, who alongside J.J. Watt would provide Arizona with a lethal duo as it attempts to slow down the offenses of the NFC West,” said Stackpole.

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