Cardinals Select Will Anderson Jr. — BN NFL Mock Draft

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Bleacher Nation NFL 2023 Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals — To Trade or Not to Trade


The Bleacher Nation NFL 2023 Mock Draft will be a running mock draft that spans between now and round one of the NFL Draft. Each of the 31 picks (Miami forfeited their first-round pick due to tampering) will get a dedicated post. Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Every pick in the Mock Draft gets its own post. We will do one or two picks per day.
  • We will link back to previous posts with a running draft recap.
  • This feature will not include trades and will cover the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Cardinals are on the clock in the Bleacher Nation NFL Mock Draft …

The Pick Is In

EDGE Will Anderson Jr. — Alabama

The Fit

Arizona is the first team on the clock without a need at quarterback. They could leverage that and trade the third overall pick to a quarterback-needy team. Or they could add one of the best talents in the draft.

I’ve got the Cardinals adding a blue-chip prospect in Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr., giving Jonathan Gannon a cornerstone to build his defense around in Arizona.

Scouting Report

Will Anderson Jr. is an every-down player with a lightning-fast first step at the line of scrimmage. Anderson averaged 734 snaps per season at Alabama, making him a building block for the Cardinals’ defense that can stay on the field for every down.

His lightning-fast first step helped him become one of the most prolific pass rushers in college football during his time in Tuscaloosa. Anderson logged 42 hurries, 14 sacks, and nine QB hits for the Crimson Tide in 2022. His performance was good enough for an 83.6 overall grade at PFF.

Anderson’s best season was his sophomore campaign in 2021, when he logged 15 sacks, 11 QB hits, and 56 QB pressures in 873 defensive snaps. His 2021 performance was good enough for an 89.8 overall grade at PFF.

Anderson isn’t just a fierce pass-rushing presence, though. The Alabama defensive lineman posted a 91.5 run defense grade on PFF during his time at Alabama.

Final Thoughts: The Cardinals could trade this pick to a team like the Raiders or Titans, but I think they’ll keep it and take a player that could have gone first overall if the Bears hadn’t traded the top pick to the Panthers last month. 

Bleacher Nation’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft

  1. Carolina Panthers (via CHI) — QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  2. Houston Texans — QB Bryce Young, Alabama
  3. Arizona Cardinals — EDGE Will Anderson Jr.
  4. Indianapolis Colts
  5. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)
  6. Detroit Lions (via LAR)
  7. Las Vegas Raiders
  8. Atlanta Falcons
  9. Chicago Bears (via CAR)
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)
  11. Tennessee Titans
  12. Houston Texans (via CLE)
  13. New York Jets
  14. New England Patriots
  15. Green Bay Packers
  16. Washington Commanders
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers
  18. Detroit Lions
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  20. Seattle Seahawks
  21. Los Angeles Chargers
  22. Baltimore Ravens
  23. Minnesota Vikings
  24. Jacksonville Jaguars
  25. New York Giants
  26. Dallas Cowboys
  27. Buffalo Bills
  28. Cincinnati Bengals
  29. New Orleans Saints (via SF)
  30. Philadelphia Eagles
  31. Kansas City Chiefs

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.