(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro narrows down the Arizona Cardinals’ choice at No. 8 in the 2020 NFL Draft to five names.
This year, here is where The Gambo 5 stands as of Wednesday morning, and his thoughts on why.
I will readily admit that this has been the toughest one to put together in the few years we have done this.
That’s mainly because of the position the Cardinals are drafting in at No. 8 and also because of the uncertainty at the top, especially with Miami, who I have been saying for a week now I don’t expect to take Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall. I think Miami could go offensive line.
There’s also the possibility the Lions (third overall) and Giants (fourth) trade down. Because while it is somewhat easier to figure out what those teams are doing, it’s impossible to know what a team trading into that position would do.
I believe if the Lions keep their pick, they choose between Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown.
I believe that if the Giants keep their pick, they choose between Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs and Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
What I have done is narrow my choices down to six players and for the last week I have been racking my brain to eliminate one and as I sit here this morning knowing this is my deadline, I am still at six. But I will eliminate one, mainly because I have to.
So what I am going to do is play the odds.
I expect one of Okudah, Simmons or Brown to be available when the Cardinals pick at 8. But I am not sure which one, although, my gut is telling me Simmons is the one left standing.
So, I am going to put all three in my Gambo 5 and play the odds.
I now have two choices left with four players: Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills, Oklahoma wide receiver Ceedee Lamb, Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas and Wirfs.
At this point, I have eliminated Alabama wide receivers Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy, Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw and a few others.
I believe the Cardinals have Wirfs, Wills and Thomas all rated high, likely top-10 on their board, and Lamb as their top receiver.
So, now, who to eliminate.
I do believe Lamb is in play. I really do. With a strong possibility that Larry Fitzgerald is going to retire after this season, Lamb makes a lot of sense.
But so does an offensive lineman.
So, let’s roll the dice and play the odds again.
Let’s take out Lamb just because Arizona added DeAndre Hopkins this year, drafted three wide receivers last year and Christian Kirk in the second round the year before.
I am not saying Lamb is not in play. With four days to go, he is.
But I have to come up with five, not six or seven, and I think the Cardinals prefer defense or offensive lineman over wide receiver.
With Lamb out, I’m putting two of the offensive linemen that I have identified in the Gambo 5. As for which of the offensive linemen, let’s go with Wirfs as the first choice and Thomas as the second, nudging out Wills.
Now, of course, any trade by the Cardinals makes these five irrelevant and if they drop back I see players like cornerback CJ Henderson, edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, safety Xavier McKinney, linebacker Kenneth Murray and Jeudy as players they would target IF they traded down.
It may sound easy picking five guys but try it at home. It’s not that easy, and if anything, you can have some fun tomorrow seeing if one of your five makes the cut.
Here are mine.
The Gambo 5: Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.
If I had to make one pick — just one — I would decide between Thomas and Simmons. Ultimately, I would choose Simmons, because I think he has the best chance of being there.