Let’s get this straight, there is one thing that NFL players hate the most: Tanking. Their job is to perform at the highest level and to win football games, tanking is the absolute opposite of that mission. Where this gets interesting is for the Arizona Cardinals. All signs point to a full-blown tank job. Veterans are being cut, countless players on injured reserve and the young players on this team are getting more playing time. However, this team did something it hasn’t done since 1949, win at Lambeau Field. Beating the Packers on the road was an impressive feat, even if Green Bay has been struggling this year. So it begs the question, are the Cardinals tanking, or no? If so, who are they targeting in the draft? N’Keal Harry anyone?
My personal opinion, the Arizona Cardinals are in full rebuild. Which means they need to get as many draft picks as possible to build around this year’s rookie class. One player in particular might (and should) be on their radar: N’Keal Harry. I know N’Keal would be a great fit to this young offense. Just picture a starting young core of Josh Rosen, Christian Kirk, N’Keal Harry, Ricky Seals-Jones, and David Johnson. There would be a lot of upside with this offense, giving Byron Leftwich more to work within the offseason.
Harry Brings Balance
Another aspect of going after Harry (or any offensive player) is that it creates a balance between the offense and defense. On offense, you gain a young core of players all on affordable rookie deals that can grow together. Then you keep your defense that has a handful of players in their prime on larger deals. When the defense ages out, you pay your offense for their performance and start drafting a younger defense. This keeps a yin-yang approach to how the team is built. Eventually, you hit a sweet spot where both sides of the ball have enough talent to perform at a higher level and win a substantial amount of games. Time will tell what Steve Keim and the Cardinals decide to do in the offseason.
Speaking of offseason, there is a big question mark for the Arizona Cardinals…Is Larry Fitzgerald returning? Some would think that you wait and see what Larry Legend decides before you make your moves in the offseason, but I disagree. You need to strike while the iron is hot as an organization. If Larry Fitzgerald returns to the team for another year, that’s just icing on the cake. You would have the best leader of all-time pouring into the now young wide-receiver room, and still making clutch catches that defy age and gravity. Going after N’Keal Harry comes with its own challenge though, draft positioning.
Mock Drafts for N’Keal Harry
N’Keal Harry is all over the map in mock drafts from the biggest names. CBS Sports has him going #2 overall, while Walter Football has him going #30 overall. This creates a bit of a dilemma for Steve Keim and the Cardinals front office. Right now, the Cardinals dropped to #4 overall after having the #2 spot (thanks to a win at Green Bay). I believe the Cardinals see him as a top 10 pick, which may provoke the Cardinals to win some of these games coming up in order to drop further down. If the Cardinals beat the Lions (#5 pick) and Falcons (#6 Pick) they may see themselves picking 6th overall. Which would be good value for a dynamic player like N’Keal Harry.
This could all be for nothing if any of the teams ahead of the Cardinals decide to take N’Keal Harry before Arizona even has a chance to take him. This may be one of the Cardinals more interesting offseasons in a while. Where this draft may be the spark that starts a successful team for years to come.