Sports Illustrated predicts the Cardinals will draft Notre Dame lineman

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Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey is seen before a drill at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Indianapolis. (Source: AP Photo/Gregory Payan) Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey is seen before a drill at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Indianapolis. (Source: AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
NEW YORK (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Cardinals are on the clock. The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday and Sports Illustrated is rolling out the predictions.

“The biggest need we see for the Cardinals is offense. They have David Johnson coming back from injury, he missed most of last year. They have a new quarterback who just signed in free agency. Now they need somebody who can block for Johnson and protect Sam Bradford," said Stephen Cannella, SI's executive editor. "That means their likely pick in the first round, their biggest need, is somebody on the offensive line."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Cardinals]

So who does SI think will end up having his name called by the Cardinals on Thursday night with the 15th pick in the first round?

"At Sports Illustrated, our experts believe, Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame offensive tackle, 6-8 and 310 pounds, very athletic, a freakish athlete," said Cannella. "He’s someone that can come in and step into the Arizona Cardinals offensive line right away. "

When Cardinals general manager Steve Keim met the media earlier this month he joked that this time of year "misinformation is flowing." He also praised new head coach Steve Wilks for blending with the scouting staff.

[READ MORE: The Cards quarterback conundrum: Is the juice worth the squeeze?]

The Cardinals put together 5,000 scouting reports on 2,000 players leading up to Thursday.

"Our need in April and May are never the same as they are in October," said Keim. "Needs are always changing. You can never have enough good players."

[RELATED: Arizona Cardinals to host NFL Draft party]

SI's Peter King reported earlier this week that the Cardinals love Heisman Trophy winner Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Whoever the Cardinals select, Sports Illustrated believes the franchise is headed in the right direction.

[READ MORE: Cardinals convene, keep 2018 goals in focus]

"If this draft goes well, if they can get some offensive line help early in the draft, fill out some other needs later in the draft," said Cannella, "things are trending up for the Arizona Cardinals. This is a team that has a lot of talent on defense. If they can shore up their offense in the draft they should be a playoff contender."

The NFL Draft starts at 5 p.m. Arizona time on Thursday night and goes all weekend.

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