This year, the draft begins and ends with the Arizona Cardinals (unless they trade pick No. 1 or No. 254, of course). So what will they do with the No. 1 overall pick? While many have matched them up with Kyler Murray based on comments from Kliff Kingsbury while he was still in the college ranks in addition to the predraft chatter that's prevalent every year, it's no slam dunk they go quarterback at No. 1, especially after trading up for one in Round 1 last year.

Below, you can check out which picks the Cardinals currently have, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso.

As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.  

Current draft picks

1 1
2 33
3 65
4 103
5 139
6 174
6 179 from Tampa Bay
7 248 Compensatory
7 249 Compensatory
7 254 Compensatory

Team needs

The CBS Sports NFL writing staff recently compiled positional rankings to identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."

27.6 13.0 27.0 28.2 8.2 16.0 19.8 20.0

Needs: QB, WR/TE, OL, INT DL, LB, DB
Pressing: QB, WR/TE, OL

The Cardinals' low ranking at quarterback might be why there is so much smoke around the idea that they'll draft Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall selection despite the fact that they traded up into the top 10 to select Josh Rosen just last year. Rosen was put in about as bad a situation as possible during his rookie season and he has enough talent to suggest there is still plenty of hope for him as a viable long-term starter, but truly special players overcome even the worst of circumstances, and since Rosen couldn't, it apparently has the Cardinals thinking about a rather drastic move. Part of his poor situation was the dreadful pass-catching group he had to work with, and the Cardinals very badly need to find some long-term help for Christian Kirk on the perimeter. (Despite appearances, Larry Fitzgerald cannot literally play forever.) They also need to make upgrades along the offensive line, or else Rosen (or Murray) will be running for his life for quite a bit more time. Arizona could also use some help on the second level of its defense, as there are still big holes in the defensive backfield even after the team added Budda Baker in last year's draft and Robert Alford earlier in free agency. 

War room big board

Are the Cardinals locked into taking Kyler Murray? Some seem to think so, but I wouldn't put him any higher than the third-best option for the team. Here's how I'd project the Cardinals' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:

  1. DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
  2. EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
  3. QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Seven-round mock drafts

R.J. White:

1 1 to Oakland
1 4 DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama from OAK*
1 27 WR N'Keal Harry, Arizona State from OAK*
2 33 CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
3 65 FS Darnell Savage, Jr., Maryland
3 93 OLB D'Andre Walker, Georgia from NYJ*
4 103 to New York Jets
5 139 C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia
6 174 to New York Jets
6 179 DT Albert Huggins, Clemson from TB
7 248 to New York Jets
7 249 LB Sione Takitaki, BYU
7 254 RB Darwin Thompson, Utah State

OT Kolton Miller (from Oakland)

Ever since Kyler Murray fully committed to the NFL, I've had the Raiders moving up to No. 1 to get him, and I'm not changing that here. The Cardinals benefit by moving down a few spots and still getting a guy at a clear position of need in Williams, who's talented enough to be taken No. 1 overall. With the other pick in the Raiders package, which also includes offensive lineman Kolton Miller as someone who can upgrade the left tackle spot if he develops, the Cardinals go local to land an excellent receiving weapon in Harry, a big weapon with excellent ball skills who's often open even when he's not. 

The Cardinals start Day 2 by ending the slide of Baker, who is thought by some to be the top corner in this class but was hurt by a poor showing at the combine. He'll join free-agent acquisition Robert Alford to give the team an impressive trio of corners after struggling to find any consistency in the starting lineup with Patrick Peterson in recent years. Safety isn't the biggest need remaining, but Savage is a great value in Round 3 who can serve as D.J. Swearinger insurance. Rather than wait around until Day 3, the Cardinals package three of their remaining picks to go up and get an edge rusher in Walker who could easily come off the board in Round 2. 

The move up for Walker leaves the Cardinals with just four Day 3 picks, and they use the first on a literal Bulldog who can compete for snaps immediately at center or guard. Next up is Huggins, a nose tackle prospect who can be groomed to take over for Corey Peters in 2020. Takitaki can be a special-teams ace while competing for snaps inside at linebacker, while Thompson is a borderline draftable backup running back who will likely never be capable of a starter's workload but can carve out a role in the NFL.

More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade

player headshot
Ryan Wilson
player headshot
Chris Trapasso
Round 1 QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
Round 2 OL Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
G Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
WR Emanuel Hall, Missouri*
Round 3 CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
DL Renell Wren, Arizona State
Round 4 TE Dax Raymond, Utah State 
DL Dre'Mont Jones, Ohio State
Round 5 DL Daniel Wise, Kansas 
CB Derrek Thomas, Baylor
Round 6 LB Josiah Tauaefa, UTSA
WR KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State
WR Penny Hart, Georgia State
LB Deshaun Davis, Auburn
Round 7 RB Darwin Thompson, Utah State
EDGE Jalen Jelks, Oregon
OT Isaiah Prince, Ohio State 
G Ben Powers, Oklahoma
OLB Carl Granderson, Wyoming
LB Chase Hansen, Utah

Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.