Cardinals’ decision on free running backs James Conner and Chase Edmonds will dictate post draft

Conner, who scored 18 total touchdowns and was the big goal line and short-range back the Cardinals missed in the Kliff Kingsbury days, will likely be the highest priority. The reality is that third back Eno Benjamin makes more sense to fill the much-needed Edmonds role than Conner.

“(Conner) was a big part of that for us,” Kingsbury said. “I love everything about him, on the pitch, off the pitch, his mentality is what you want in your organization.”

Kingsbury reiterated the complaint that Conner and Edmonds haven’t had the chance to play as much together in the second half of the season, other than DeAndre Hopkins’ injury, the main reason for the attacking struggles.

If either leaves, it’s possible to spend a later draft pick on a running back — like White, who told Indy he’s spoken to the Cardinals and would like to stay in Arizona. But the Cardinals could also be looking for another veteran like they did last year when they struck gold with Conner. The Cards also signed veteran Jaylen Samuels to a term contract earlier in the offseason.

Kingsbury said Benjamin has “made great strides” and the former ASU fullback also completed a top-tier TD truck race in San Francisco. His immediate future will depend on whether Edmonds is chosen.

“It’s no secret, having James and Chase, in a perfect world, we would want them both back,” Keim said. “But it’s a business and we’ll see what happens.”

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