It profiles to be a game of chances for the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL Draft, as five of their eight selections don’t happen until rounds 6 and 7. With this many late selections, the following mock draft will look a bit different than others.

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For the Cardinals’ draft class, they will likely be taking a look at certain shortcomings from last year’s team, which include the offensive line, wide receiver, and secondary depth. By only having three selections in the first 200 picks, GM Steve Keim will have to make do with little that he has to work with.

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Cardinals 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1 (#23 Overall) – Jalen Pitre (CB, Baylor)

While a first-round WR prospect is the ‘sexy’ pick for a team like the Cardinals near the end of the first round, this mock draft sees them addressing that need much later, instead pivoting to addressing their defensive secondary.

Baylor’s Jalen Pitre has the makings of a great ‘STAR’ option on the defense, being able to man multiple roles at once. With experience playing near the line of scrimmage, in the slot, and deep in coverage, Pitre is a great addition to this team’s secondary, especially with how strong the NFC West is at the WR position.

Round 2 (#55) – Nik Bonitto (ED, Oklahoma)

Edge rusher is a big need for this team this offseason, as they need to try and replace Chandler Jones and his production. Nik Bonitto is a strong prospect in a loaded edge class this year, and with him being pushed into the second round for this mock draft, the Cardinals grab a solid prospect to build around.

Holding comparisons to Hasson Reddick makes him even more likely to catch the eye of the Cardinals, and the class for Arizona’s draft gets even stronger by adding a blue-chip prospect to their defensive line.

Round 3 (#87) – Dylan Parham (G, Memphis)

The interior offensive line for the Cardinals is a work in progress, with many moving pieces lining up to be the potential starter. But by drafting Dylan Parham from Memphis, the Cardinals are able to bring in a likely first-day starter at guard who projects to become a starting center at some time in his NFL career.

Sometimes the NFL Draft is all about how the draft falls, and with Parham’s 2nd/3rd round value, the Cardinals are fortunate to have someone of his caliber fall to them in his mock draft. With not having another selection until after pick 200, grabbing a starting-caliber OL now is a great move.

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Round 6 (#201) – Ty Chandler (RB, North Carolina)

Grabbing a backup for James Conner is going to be very important in this offense, especially with how important Chase Edmonds was last season. Even though both Eno Benjamin and Jaylen Samuels are already in house, drafting an option like UNC’s Ty Chandler is a smart move.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cardinals have to use their limited early selections to the best of their abilities, meaning that needs like RB2 will likely be pushed back until Day 3. For Chandler, his dual-purpose skill set is exactly what the Cardinals are looking for, and they will be glad to select Chandler on the final day of the draft.

Round 6 (#215) – Luke Wattenberg (C, Washington)

Another interior OL is in store for Arizona in this mock draft, as Washington’s Luke Wattenberg is selected. Strong in the run game and solid overall, Wattenberg would make for the team’s second iOL addition and one that could also fight for the starting center job down the road.

Wattenberg is effective but nothing truly stands out that much on tape, making him a sure-fire Day 3 prospect. With Arizona looking to shore up their OL, Wattenberg is a cheap lottery ticket for the team to take a chance on and potentially turn him into a developmental swing option.

Round 7 (#244) – Malachi Carter (WR, Georgia Tech)

Have no fear – the WR help is here. Having waited until the final round of this mock draft was tough, but the Cardinals held out and addressed other areas of their team before coming back to WR.

Georgia Tech’s Malachi Carter will likely get a knock due to having played at a run-heavy school, but he earned his fair share of opportunities during his NCAA career, putting him on the draft radar of NFL teams. In the 2022 NFL Draft, Carter does not profile to be more than a seventh-round selection, but his 6’3 stature could help give him an inside edge at filling in the role vacated by AJ Green.

Round 7 (#256) – Decobie Durant (CB, South Carolina State)

Arizona’s second-to-last selection in the 2022 NFL Draft heads back to wear their draft class all started – the defensive secondary. South Carolina State is certainly not known for developing NFL prospects, but Decobie Durant has the intangibles to be something at the next level.

Known more for his skills in a man scheme, Durant is a work in progress in football, having played QB in high school but transitioned to DB when he joined the collegiate ranks. While he will need quite a bit of work, Durant looks to be a great option to be this year’s small school standout when things are all said and done.

Round 7 (#257) – Darien Butler (LB, Arizona State)

The Cardinals remain in Arizona for their final selection, grabbing ASU’s Darien Butler for LB and special teams depth. While Butler has average skills across the board, he does not do any one thing exceptionally, so he looks to be a backup in the NFL if he makes the team.