We’re less than a month away from the opening round of the three-day spectacle that is the 2023 NFL Draft.
At this year’s event in Kansas City, first-year Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort and head coach Jonathan Gannon will be tasked with revitalizing a roster that fell off a cliff in 2022, going from 11-6 and in the playoffs to 4-13 and holding the No. 3 pick in the draft.
While there’s no shortage of potential players the pair of newcomers could pick at the front end of the draft, there are a few contenders that stand above the fray.
Utilizing Survey Monkey, BetArizona.com, home to the best coverage of sports betting in Arizona, gathered 150 survey results from Arizona Cardinals Reddit and Facebook groups to see who Cardinals fans want their franchise to select with the third overall pick April 27.
Who Cardinals Fans Want With Third Pick of NFL Draft
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Defensive Players Rank Highly On Wishlist
With a young quarterback and a few pieces to build around offensively, the biggest question mark for the Cardinals rests on the defensive side of the ball.
The team’s defense was a glaring weak spot during the 2022 season, posting the second-worst points per game allowed (26.4 points per game), while ranking 31st in touchdowns allowed, 23rd in sacks and 21st in interceptions.
To address that defensive blind spot, Cardinals fans would like the team to focus their attention on a trio of pass rushers with the team’s first selection.
The overwhelming majority of respondents (62.4%) wanted the Cardinals to go after Alabama edge Will Anderson Jr., who had 34.5 sacks in three years with the Crimson Tide.
Landing the two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year won’t be easy, as Anderson is among the names listed by Arizona betting apps as a potential No. 1 pick.
Caesars Sportsbook Arizona has Anderson ranked in a tie for fifth with Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson at +15000 to be selected at No. 1 overall.
Speaking of Wilson, the former Red Raiders edge is another name Cardinals fans would love to see sporting Sedona red in 2023 and beyond.
Of those that responded to our survey, 11.2% said they’d like to see Arizona draft Wilson with the team’s first selection.
If the 2023 first-team All-American is the Cardinals’ first round selection, he’ll bring a pass-rushing prowess that saw him finish each of his final two college seasons with seven sacks.
The other player that generated interest from Cardinals fans was embattled former Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who received 6.0% of votes in our survey.
Whether one of those three defensive stars or another prospect will hear their name called by the Cardinals in this month’s draft remains to be seen.