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Cardinals hosted ‘high demand’ draft prospect Maason Smith

© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft is just a week away, but that hasn’t halted the Arizona Cardinals from weighing its options before they can select the next of future pro players on April 25.

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According to The Draft Network writer Justin Melo, Arizona was one of many who hosted LSU defensive tackle Maason Smith for a pre-draft visit.

“LSU Football DT Maason Smith is in high demand,” Melo said. “After dominant Combine/Pro Day showings, Smith had 12+ visits! [New Orleans] Saints, [Cincinnati] Bengals, [Pittsburgh] Steelers, [New York] Jets, [New York] Giants, [Minnesota] Vikings, [Green Bay] Packers, [Buffalo] Bills, [Carolina] Panthers, Cardinals, etc.”

The Lousiana native went to his local university of LSU and became a star on the Tigers’ defensive line.

Smith played 20 games through three seasons (2021-23), collecting 47 tackles, 6.5 sacks and defended two passes.

After his freshman year, LSU faced Florida State in 2022 and he injured his ACL during postgame celebrations, ending his sophomore season abruptly.

Last season, Smith came back and totaled 27 tackles and 4.5 sacks for the Tigers. On New Year’s Day, the 21-year-old and LSU won the 2024 ReliaQuest Bowl 35-31 over Wisconsin.

With the possibility of returning to college for a fourth year, he decided to instead declare for the NFL Draft.

In a majority of mock drafts, Smith is projected to be a middle-to-late first-round pick. Arizona has two first-round selections at No. 4 and No. 27.

Not just that, but the Cardinals also have six picks in the first three rounds and 11 overall this year.

During the offseason, Khyiris Tonga, Bilal Nichols and Justin Jones all signed with Arizona as free agents. The Cardinals also have L.J. Collier, Phil Hoskins, Ben Stille, Roy Lopez, Dante Stills and Naquan Jones.

The 2024 NFL Draft begins next Thursday, April 25, at 5 p.m. PT in Detroit.

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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