What Are The Arizona Cardinals’ Team Needs In The 2022 NFL Draft?

The 2022 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 28. As a lead-up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of the current depth chart and how big of a need each position is in the upcoming draft. You can find the rest of the team needs (as they’re updated) and the rest of our draft content in the 2022 NFL Draft hub.

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What Picks do the Arizona Cardinals have in 2022

The Arizona Cardinals have eight picks.

Round 1 (23)
Round 2 (55)
Round 3 (87)
Round 6 (201)
Round 6 (215)
Round 7 (244)
Round 7 (256)
Round 7 (257)

Arizona Cardinals Top POSITIONS OF NEED

  1. EDGE
  2. WR
  3. CB
  4. OL depth
  5. RB Depth

Arizona Cardinals Strength of Schedule, 2022

The Arizona Cardinals have the eighth hardest NFL strength of schedule for the 2022 NFL season.

Arizona Cardinals Offense

By Rich Hribar


Kyler Murray
Colt McCoy

Kyler Murray has improved all three seasons in the league. His yards per pass attempt, completion percentage, yards per completion, touchdown rate, and rating index all have risen each year of his career. 

Murray has flirted with front-half of the season MVP levels of play but has picked up mid-season injuries in each of the past two years that have set him back after racing out of the gates. Last season, he missed three games due to an ankle injury. 

Murray also had to contend with losing DeAndre Hopkins last season, which directly impacted his performance. 

With Hopkins on the field, Murray completed 72.1% of his passes for 8.8 yards per pass attempt. With Hopkins off the field, Murray completed 65.1% of his passes for 6.6 Y/A. 

Murray is the next quarterback poised to get a large contract. He is heading into the final year of his rookie contract while he and the organization have danced around the idea this offseason. 

While it still feels as if we are at a stalemate currently, Arizona still can still pick up Murray’s fifth-year option for 2023 in the meantime, which currently sits at $29.7 million. 

The team brought back Colt McCoy on a two-year deal after McCoy led the team to a pair of wins in the three games Murray was absent a year ago. 


James Conner
Eno Benjamin
Jaylen Samuels
Jonathan Ward

After only landing a “prove it” deal last offseason for under $2 million, James Conner cashed a three-year extension to stay in Arizona, worth up to $25.5 million, with $13.5M guaranteed.

Conner is coming off posting 1,127 yards with 18 touchdowns (third in the league). He also added pass-catching juice, averaging a career-high 10.1 yards per reception with three touchdowns on 37 grabs. 

When Conner was called upon to carry the offense last season without Chase Edmonds, we did see that he once again picked up some wear and tear, missing two games with ankle and heel injuries.

Conner still has yet to play a full season in the league, something Arizona will surely factor in by potentially adding a back in this draft while also extending Eno Benjamin’s role.

Benjamin is the only back on the roster outside of Conner signed beyond the 2022 season.


DeAndre Hopkins
A.J. Green
Rondale Moore
Andy Isabella
Greg Dortch
Antoine Wesley
Andre Baccellia

Christian Kirk led the Cardinals in targets (103) receptions (77), and yards (982) since DeAndre Hopkins only appeared in 10 games. Kirk signed with the Jaguars in free agency.

While on the field, Hopkins averaged 4.2 receptions and 57.2 yards per game, by far his lowest totals per game since 2016. Even with the dip in counting stats, he still scored eight times in 10 games while his 13.6 yards per reception was his highest mark since 2018.

Hopkins will turn 30 this June, carrying dead cap hits of $33.8 million, $18.1 million, and $9 million over the remainder of his deal. 

Rondale Moore did not do anything to alleviate the concerns we had for him transitioning to the NFL, even in an offense that was suited to get the most out of him. 

Moore ended the year with 54 catches for 435 yards and one touchdown. 

After being a near the line of scrimmage receiver in college, Moore managed a laughable depth of target of just 1.2 yards as a rookie. Just seven of his 64 targets came on throws over 10 yards downfield while 41 came at or behind the line scrimmage. 

With the loss of Kirk, Moore will surely have a larger role in 2022.

Hopkins and Moore are also the only wideouts signed beyond this season. 

A.J. Green was brought back on a one-year contract after catching 54-of-92 targets for 848 yards and three touchdowns. Green will turn 34 years old this July, but is coming off averaging 15.7 yards per reception, the highest since his rookie season. 

Arizona used three or more wideouts on 804 snaps last season (fifth), and four or more on a league-high 161 plays (63 more than the next closest team), so we can anticipate them adding more to the position once again with their limited depth. 


Zach Ertz
Stephen Anderson
Maxx Williams
Alex Ellis
Deon Yelder
David Wells
Bernhard Seikovits

After a mid-season trade for Zach Ertz, the team made it a priority to bring him back this offseason, giving him a three-year extension.

In 11 games with the Cardinals, Ertz averaged 5.1 receptions for 52.2 yards per game with three scores.

Seven of those games came without Hopkins, where Ertz averaged 9.0 targets per game while receiving a team-high 24.0% of the targets in those games.

David Wells is the only other tight end here signed past this season, but with Maxx Williams returning, there is not a primary concern at the position. 


LT: DJ Humphries/Joshua Miles
LG: Justin Pugh/Sean Harlow/Danny Isidora
C: Rodney Hudson/Marcus Henry
RG: Will Hernandez/Justin Murray
RT: Kelvin Beachum/Josh Jones/Eric Smith

Arizona toughed through a season filled with injuries across the line in 2021 as their starting offensive line combined to miss 17 games, with all five starters missing at least one game.

With all five missing time at various points of the season, their best starting five linemen combined to play just 77 snaps together with all on the field. 

Arizona is returning four of those five starters on the offensive line from a year ago. Losing right guard Max Garcia in free agency, the team signed Will Hernandez. They also have Josh Jones as an option to play right guard. Jones logged 612 snaps at right guard and 231 at right tackle last season, although he allowed a 6.1% pressure rate, which ranked 120th among all guards and tackles. Hernandez was at 5.7%, 103rd. 

While the starters here are set outside of that competition at right guard, contractually, however, things are really thin. The only two offensive linemen that Arizona has signed beyond this season are Rodney Hudson and Jones. 

None of the remaining expiring contracts are restricted free agents, with Marcus Henry an exclusive rights free agent. 

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Arizona Cardinals Defense

By Dan Pizzuta

Interior Defensive Line

J.J. Watt
Zach Allen
Leki Fotu
Michael Dogbe
Matt Dickerson
Rashard Lawrence
Jonathan Ledbetter

The Cardinals only got J.J. Watt for seven games, but he was back to his dominant self when he was on the field. Watt had a 12% pressure rate as an interior defender and was even better in limited snaps on the edge.

Zach Allen, a 2019 third-round pick, played 62% of the snaps and had 14 quarterback hits after nine combined in his first two seasons. Allen got run with and without Watt and was able to produce in both situations. Allen is in the final year of his rookie deal.

Leki Fotu made his way onto the field for 34% of the snaps as a 330-pound nose tackle. Fotu had the lowest pressure rate in the league among qualified defensive tackles, but his presence in the middle made a big enough impact against the pass with three passes defensed.

Michael Dogbe got 24% of the snaps. The 2019 seventh-round pick has the athletic upside to be a plus pass rusher from the interior but hasn’t completely put that together on the field.


Markus Golden
Devon Kennard
Dennis Gardeck
Victor Dimukeje

Markus Golden remains one of the league’s most underrated pass rushers. He was 49th in pressure rate last season but had a high conversion rate of making those pressures matter. He had 19 quarterback hits and 11 sacks.

Devon Kennard has been a rotational pass rusher with the Cardinals after coming over from the Lions. He played 24% of the defensive snaps last season. Kennard has five or more tackles for loss in each of the past five seasons, but had a career-low two quarterback hits in 2021.

Dennis Gardeck had a monster 2020 season with seven sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Gardeck recovered from a late 2020 torn ACL then missed the first three games of the season with a hand injury. He played 16% of the snaps and had four quarterback hits.

As a team, the Cardinals only ranked 27th in pressure rate last season per SIS. 

Off-ball Linebacker

Isaiah Simmons
Zaven Collins
Tanner Vallejo
Nick Vigil
Joe Walker
Ezekiel Turner

The Cardinals opened the season telling Jordan Hicks he was likely going to be traded because there wasn’t a place for him the starting lineup behind the previous two years’ first-round picks — then Hicks played 97% of the defensive snaps.

With Hicks now gone in free agency, Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins will take over. Simmons played 93% of the defensive snaps in his second season. He’s still a work in progress playing as a more traditional linebacker. He ranked 61st among 85 qualified linebackers in yards allowed per coverage snap.

Zaven Collins only played 20% of the defensive snaps during his rookie season with one tackle for loss and three passes defensed.


Byron Murphy
Marco Wilson
Jeff Gladney
Breon Borders
Jace Whitaker
Nate Brooks

Byron Murphy ranked 49th among 93 qualified cornerbacks in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap after the secondary as a whole started as one of the best units in football. Murphy will be in the final year of his rookie deal.

Marco Wilson was 90th among those 93 corners in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap. The fourth-round rookie had his struggles but corner has historically been a position that takes some time to develop, especially for mid-round picks thrown in as starters.

There is depth needed here, but no team played more snaps with four or fewer defensive backs on the field last season. The Cardinals had 117 plays with only three defensive backs. The next highest team was at 56 and after that was 34. 


Budda Baker
Jalen Thompson
Deionte Thompson
James Wiggins
Javon Hagan

Part of the Cardinals’ reliance on so few defensive backs came from Budda Baker’s ability to play all over the defense. Baker is coming off two All-Pro years (first-team in 2020 and second-team in 2021). His presence in the secondary allows the Cardinals to have more options with what’s around him.

Jalen Thompson played 91% of the defensive snaps and the 2019 fifth-round Supplemental Draft pick had his best season. He’ll be in the final year of his rookie deal.

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