As the 2023 NFL Draft approaches, the anticipation grows more and more every day. A big part of that anticipation has to do with the trades, arguably the most exciting and unpredictable part of the draft. With the Chicago Bears trading the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers earlier this month, the Arizona Cardinals and their No. 3 overall pick have become the main subject of trade talks.
The Cardinals are in a unique position because even though they are rebuilding, they aren’t in need of a quarterback. Arizona signed Kyler Murray to a massive extension last offseason, so he’s the guy for the foreseeable future. This leaves the Cardinals with a big decision to make, do they use the pick on a non-quarterback, or trade down to acquire more picks?
If they choose the latter, they will surely have plenty of offers for that pick. The Panthers and Houston Texans will almost certainly choose quarterbacks at first and second overall, as will the Indianapolis Colts at fourth. With four top quarterbacks in this class, any team wanting to jump up and get one of them will likely have to go through Arizona.
Recently, R.J. White of CBS Sports proposed several trade packages for the third pick. While much has changed since then with free agency starting up, most of those packages still make sense today. So, let’s rank some of the best packages Arizona could get for the third pick.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Cardinals receive: No. 4 overall, No. 162 overall, 2024 second-round pick
Colts receive: No. 3 overall
In terms of sheer value, Indianapolis may not have the most to offer Arizona. In White’s proposed package from the Colts, the Cardinals would move down one spot in exchange for a fifth-rounder this year and a second-rounder next year. Considering that they’re only moving down one spot, it makes sense why it’s on the smaller side.
Instead, the value in this move comes from where they end up in the draft. With the three teams ahead of them all (presumably) picking quarterbacks, the Cardinals would still get their choice of non-quarterbacks in this draft. The most likely candidate seems to be Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr., but Arizona could have whoever it wants.
Additionally, this move opens up another intriguing option, trading back again. Maybe a team gets especially desperate after the Colts move up, and decides to call the Cardinals about their newly-acquired fourth overall pick. The Cardinals could realistically get two big hauls to move down twice, which certainly has some appeal.
Even if they don’t do that, the Cardinals could gain a good amount from moving down one spot. They would likely get the same player they wanted all along, and get more draft capital on top of it.
2. New York Jets
Cardinals receive: No. 13 overall, 2024 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, 2025 first-round pick
Jets receive: No. 3 overall
The Jets are the unlikeliest team on this list to make a move, and this whole scenario predicates on the Aaron Rodgers trade falling through. Considering that Rodgers has already publicly stated he intends to play for the Jets, that doesn’t seem particularly likely. However, the Jets and Packers are taking their sweet time in getting a deal done, so there’s still a small chance New York decides it’s not worth the trouble and looks elsewhere.
If that happens, then maybe the Jets could inquire about the third overall pick. It would cost a lot to get that pick, but it would give them a more sustainable answer at quarterback than Rodgers. On the other hand, the Cardinals would get a massive haul to kickstart their rebuild. They wouldn’t get Anderson, or whoever else they wanted at third, but it’s well worth it for this many picks.
Fortunately for us, there is precedence for such a move. This trade package is nearly identical to what the San Francisco 49ers gave the Miami Dolphins in 2021 to move from 12th to third. These picks may end up later on than other suitors, but in terms of sheer value, it’s hard to find a better deal than this.
1. Las Vegas Raiders
Cardinals receive: No. 7 overall, No. 70 overall, 2024 first-round pick
Raiders receive: No. 3 overall
In contrast to the Jets, the Raiders may be the likeliest team to make a deal with Arizona. Several outlets have named Las Vegas as the team to watch in regards to this deal. The Raiders have a clear need at quarterback, even after signing Jimmy Garoppolo, who isn’t a long-term answer. If they want to ensure they get their quarterback of the future now, they must consider trading up with Arizona.
In this scenario, the Cardinals move down four spots for a third this year and a first next year. They could still get a star defender like Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson, and an early third-rounder as well. However, the main prize is the 2024 first, which could be extremely valuable if the Raiders’ struggle again this season.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas gets a stud rookie quarterback that can develop for a year or two behind Garoppolo. The package the Raiders give up isn’t too bad either, certainly better than what they would’ve had to give up to move up to first overall.
Considering what both teams need, this should be a win-win for both of them. As such, this is the best, and most likely, trade the Cardinals could get for the third overall pick.
The post Best Cardinals NFL Draft trades if they decide to deal No. 3 pick appeared first on ClutchPoints.