With the first few waves of free agency in the rear view, the Cardinals are in the midst of their annual draft prep. GM Steve Keim will lay the groundwork to bring in a new class of rookies to supplement the roster already built and forge a direction upon which a few more free agents are likely to be signed.
Here is the third position group breakdown.
Draft primer: Running Backs
The Cardinals’ situation: James Conner arrived in Arizona last offseason on a one-year prove-it deal, impressed in 2021 with his second-career Pro Bowl selection and earned himself a nice contract to remain in the desert. Conner will handle the main running back responsibilities next year after Chase Edmonds departed for Dolphins this offseason. Conner’s 2022 tag-team partner in the backfield is yet to be determined.
The draft class: Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) and Breece Hall (Iowa State) headline the running back class. Both are projected second-round picks, according to several league draft experts. With five picks in the last two rounds of the draft, the Cardinals might be able to find another back — like Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller or Arizona’s State’s Rachaad White may be available later — similar to how they picked up Benjamin in the seventh round in 2020.
The conclusion: The Cardinals have several more pressing needs than adding a backup back. Keim could draft a running back to compete with Eno Benjamin and Jaylen Samuels for the job, although the Cardinals might still sign someone on the free-agent market. Chiefs’ RB Darrel Williams visited the Cardinals’ facility last week.