2023 NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals get help at cornerback in 2023 NFL draft

·4 min read

The first round of the 2023 NFL draft isn't until April 27, 2023.

That hasn't stopped several sites from publishing early 2023 NFL mock draft projections.

We were curious to see if we could discover any trends in those projections for the 2023 NFL draft and some things did stick out.

All of them having the Cardinals picking somewhere from No. 18 to No. 21 in the draft next year, meaning they think the Cardinals will regress a little in the 2022 season (Arizona had the No. 23 pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, but traded it to the Baltimore Ravens in the deal for Marquise Brown).

Many of them also have the Cardinals going for a cornerback in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, while offensive tackles are also a popular pick for Arizona.

More: Arizona Cardinals' 2022 NFL draft class among worst in some NFL draft grades, report cards

Early projections for Arizona Cardinals' 2023 NFL draft first-round pick:

ESPN: Cardinals take Utah CB Clark Phillips III at No. 20

Todd McShay writes: "Phillips is already a two-year starter … Arizona’s cornerback room has holes, and that’s before factoring in that Byron Murphy Jr. is entering the final year of his contract."

Draft Wire: Cardinals select Miami OT Zion Nelson at No. 19

Luke Easterling writes: "Improving the protection around Kyler Murray should be a top priority for Arizona, particularly at right tackle. Nelson could have been a fairly early pick in this year’s draft, but another year of improvement should have him prepared to be a franchise tackle at the next level."

Walter Football: Cardinals pick Notre Dame DB Brandon Joseph at No. 21

It writes: "The Cardinals had big problems at cornerback last year, so they'll need to be resolved soon. Brandon Joseph is a turnover machine as a cornerback with great instincts."

More: Analysis: It was a different type of draft for Arizona Cardinals, but they're better now

Notre Dame defensive back Brandon Joseph (16) is projected to go to the Arizona Cardinals in some early NFL mock drafts for the 2022 NFL draft.
Notre Dame defensive back Brandon Joseph (16) is projected to go to the Arizona Cardinals in some early NFL mock drafts for the 2022 NFL draft.

CBS Sports: Cardinals go with Notre Dame DB Brandon Joseph at No. 18

Ryan Wilson writes: "Joseph opted to return to school -- though he transferred from Northwestern to Notre Dame for 2022 -- but he had top-100 buzz in the fall. He'll have a chance to improve his stock with a strong fall campaign.

Bleacher Report: Cardinals draft USC OT Andrew Vorhees at No. 20

Brent Sobleski writes: "The spotlight on USC Trojans football will be blindingly bright this fall after the university (and its boosters) lured Lincoln Riley and possibly wide receiver Jordan Addison to the Golden State. The extra attention should help quality players, like left tackle Andrew Vorhees, get more attention. Vorhees originally started at left guard before bumping out to blindside duties during the last four games of the 2021 campaign. The 6'6", 325-pound upperclassman excelled playing on an island and will now get the chance to put a full season together at left tackle and solidify himself as a top prospect. For the Arizona Cardinals, Vorhees' experience working inside or outside is extremely beneficial since left tackle D.J. Humphries and left guard Justin Pugh are scheduled to be free agents after this season. One way or the other, Vorhees can help protect quarterback Kyler Murray."

Fantasy Pros: Cardinals choose Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. at No. 19

Matthew Freedman writes: "The Cardinals entered the 2022 draft desperately needing to take a cornerback, and they did … in the seventh round."

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PFF.com: Cardinals end up with Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba at No. 19

Michael Renner writes: "In the loaded Buckeyes receiving corps, it was JSN who led the team in catches (95) and yards (1,595) last season. He’s been a slot-only so far, so it will be interesting to see if his role expands next fall."

Sporting News: Cardinals land Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. at No. 21

Vinnie Iyer writes: "D.J. Humphries has started to struggle in pass protection on the left side and is unsigned beyond this season. Johnson will showcase his athleticism well going back to playing the outside to protect Stroud."

Fox Sports: Cardinals pick Notre Dame edge Isaiah Foskey at No. 20

Jason McIntyre writes: "The 6-foot-5 star is on pace to be the leading sack man in Notre Dame history, notching 11 last season and sitting only nine behind Justin Tuck’s record of 24.5."

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The Draft Network: Cardinals go with Alabama CB Eli Ricks at No. 19

Joe Marino writes: "I can’t remember the last time the Cardinals truly had an ideal set of cornerbacks. A transfer from LSU, Ricks should come into his own at Alabama with every trait needed to develop into a first-round selection in 2023."

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 2023 NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals' early NFL draft projections