The 2021 NFL season couldn't have started better for the Arizona Cardinals, kicking things off with a perfect 7-0 record, Things fell apart after that. Arizona went 4-7 in the following 11 games, resulting in a Super Wild Card Weekend exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams.
It's been six years since the Cardinals have won a playoff game and they now have the offseason to figure out how to get over that hump. With a few holes to fix, the 23rd overall pick at the 2022 NFL Draft should come in handy to address those needs.
Here's a look at the three most likely players to be selected at No. 23 by the Cardinals at the 2022 NFL Draft.
Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft
1. Drake London, WR (USC)
USC Trojans wideout Drake London was looking like one of the top wide receivers in college before breaking his ankle in the eighth game of the season. The 20-year-old had set career highs when it came to receptions (88), yards (1,084) and touchdowns (7), so it isn't hard to imagine what he could've done in a full campaign. Meanwhile, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green are both set to become free agents. DeAndre Hopkins is also coming off a season-ending injury and Rondale Moore was fairly streaky in his first campaign. London has high upside and could potentially be a top receiver by the time Hopkins' contract is over, making him an option worth considering.
2. Drake Jackson, EDGE (USC)
The other 'Drake' at USC, Drake Jackson has all the makings to be a prominent edge rusher in the NFL. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound defender has a lot of speed and great footwork, making him a constant threat to quarterbacks. He also recorded 103 total tackles, 12.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 27 career games as a Trojan. Yes, the Cardinals still have J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones, but they aren't getting any younger and the team needs to start thinking of the future. Jackson could be a core piece for a long time and is the type of player who'd thrive in Arizona.
3. Kaiir Elam, CB (Florida)
The departure of Patrick Peterson and Malcolm Butler left a couple of holes in Arizona's secondary this season. Both Byron Murphy and Robert Alford played well since their departure, however, it's clear that the Cardinals need to be deeper than that. Enter: Kaiir Elam. The Florida Gators cornerback was one of the better shutdown players at his position, leading to him being one of the top-five corners in the draft. Arizona's defense struggled in the second half of the season and drafting Elam would address the problem. He has the physicality and speed to go up against the NFL's top wideouts and that could help the Cardinals return to contender status.
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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.