2023 NFL Mock Draft

Selection Comment - Pick #12

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Cam Smith

South Carolina


The days appear to be numbered for the current Cardinals' regime after another devastating loss, this time to the Los Angeles Chargers. Kliff Kingsbury's offense failed to convert a single first down in the final quarter of play, opening the door for Justin Herbert's third passing TD of the day and a two-point conversion in the waning seconds of the game to edge out the Cardinals in heartbreaking fashion.

Even with the return of Kyler Murray back from injury and excellent production from running back James Conner - who capped his first 100-yard game in two seasons with 25 carries and a receiving touchdown to give Arizona a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter - the offense struggled to put the game away. The Cardinals got the ball back with 2:19 left and the lead but swiftly went three-and-out in just 31 seconds. The offense is going nowhere, and the finger pointing has begun.

Injuries have also been a source of frustration. The Cardinals finally added back its top two receivers, DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown, together for the first time this season. But they missed receivers Greg Dortch and Rondale Moore, both inactive, as well as four out of its five starting offensive linemen after left tackle D.J. Humphries was put on injured reserve earlier this week with a back injury. But nothing excuses the poor playcalling in critical moments, and while publicly the staff remains confident, heads are likely to roll as a result of the season's on-field results. It seems all Arizona fans can do during this upcoming bye week - and likely the rest of the season - is count down the days until the inevitable end of the Kliff Kingsbury era in Phoenix.

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