Arizona Cardinals: Bidwill Talks “Disappointing” Finish, Latest Compensatory Draft Pick Projections, More

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Bidwill Calls Cardinals’ 2021 Finish “Disappointing For Everybody.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons/All-Pro Reels

The Arizona Cardinals won 11 regular season games and ended a six-year playoff drought, and yet 2021 still feels like a rather disappointing season in The Desert.


That’s because these Cardinals once stood at 7-0 and looked like the team to beat. But as injuries mounted to key players in Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt, Arizona saw the NFC West division gradually slip out of their hands.


Arizona dropped four of their final games to finish with an 11-6 record, claiming the top wild card spot in the NFC. But that only set up an unfavorable showdown with the NFC West division champion Los Angeles Rams, who throttled Arizona 34-11 on Wild Card weekend.


It was a very unexpected meltdown for a team whose Super Bowl odds were as high as +700 back in Week 14, to say the very least. There are several new Arizona licensed sports betting sites that are offering new customers up to $1,000 in risk-free bets.


At a news conference on Monday, team owner Michael Bidwill called the team’s 2021 finish “Disappointing for everybody”, per Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic.


“For our players, for our coaches, certainly for our fans and certainly as a fan myself, it was very disappointing,” Bidwill said, via Somers. “We have high expectations. We need to play better. We had a lot of great success in 2021. I don’t want to take away from that, but we can get better and that’s what we’re working on now.”


If the blowout loss to the Rams wasn’t bad enough to begin with? Redbirds fans now have to watch L.A. square off against another Arizona rival, the San Francisco 49ers, in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.


“Anytime you see your direct competitors in the playoffs, it should bother any football fan,” Bidwill added, via Somers, “and it certainly bothers this one.”


The Cardinals also endured a miserable second season collapse in 2020. They won six of their first nine games but slumped to an awful 2-5 finish that cost them what looked to be a virtual lock of a postseason berth.


Needless to say, anything less of a deep playoff run next year will have to be considered a disappointment in The Desert. With Kyler Murray fronting a star-studded roster, Arizona is simply too talented to underachieve again.


Early Projections: Cardinals Will Receive Three Compensatory Picks

The latest projections from Over the Cap have the Cardinals receiving a trio of compensatory draft selections.


Those projections have the Cardinals garnering an additional sixth-round pick after losing running back Kenyan Drake to the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021 free agency plus a pair of seventh-rounders stemming from tight end Dan Arnold signing with the Carolina Panthers and defensive end Angelo Blackson signing with the Chicago Bears.


Arizona currently holds the No. 23 selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.


The team has had limited success at the draft under Keim. On one hand, taking Murray first overall back in 2019 turned out to be a brilliant move. He also found gems in Byron Murphy, Christian Kirk and Budda Baker.


That said, 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Simmons and 2021 first-round selection Zaven Collins have both struggled to make significant impacts thus far. It’s on Keim to make the most of his draft capital to help Arizona rebound in 2022.


Cardinals Take Trent McDuffie In Bucky Brooks’ Mock Draft


NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks released his first 2022 Mock Draft.


He has the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal first overall, and the Cardinals settling on Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie:


“U-Dub has treated the Cardinals well, with Budda Baker and Byron Murphy contributing in a major way in the desert. McDuffie could emerge as the next Husky to step into a starring role as a rock-solid cover corner with a steady game.”


The Cardinals are mostly set on the offensive side of the ball, with Murray leading a prolific offense that isn’t lacking in skill position players. But they could certainly use some secondary help, especially with all of those explosive wide receivers residing in the NFC West (namely Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel and D.K. Metcalf).


The 5-foot-11, 195-pound McDuffie had six pass defenses in his last season with the Huskies. 


Of course, Arizona could also look to shore up the secondary in free agency. J.C. Jackson, Carlton Davis, Stephon Gilmore and Darious Wililams round out a deep cornerback free agent group.


But don’t be surprised if Arizona addresses the cornerback position in the first round. You can never have too many lockdown corners in today’s NFL, after all.

 

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