Grabbing an offensive tackle this early certainly seems like a reach, especially where there’s some impact talent on defense that would easily be a top overall pick in many other NFL Draft classes.
A lot of what the Arizona Cardinals do here will hinge largely on what happens with All-Pro defensive back Patrick Peterson, who recanted earlier trade requests and still remains under contract through 2020.
Yet there’s a simple reason general manager Steve Keim looks to grab Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams at No. 2 overall.
First, Williams is a plug-and-play offensive lineman. Those make a huge difference, and one needs to look no further at how top-10 draftees Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey made for the Indianapolis Colts and 49ers’ offensive lines this year, respectively.
Second, the Cardinals made their 2018 investment in quarterback Josh Rosen. He’s the team’s future. But with Football Outsiders ranking the Cardinals O-line 22nd in pass protection, it’s time to protect the asset.
The Cardinals can worry about their other needs, especially on defense, later. There aren’t enough quality O-line options in this year’s draft to wait too long.