- Updated: February 11, 2013
Seems like it wasn’t too long ago that the Arizona Cardinals were in the super bowl. They had a prolific offense with Kurt Warner slinging the ball all over the place (By the way, is it just me or whenever Kurt Warner is the starting quarterback for a team, those words “prolific” and “offense” have always followed him.) However, Kurt Warner has retired and the tandem, or should I say “threesome” of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley have shown us exactly why teams are so high on finding a franchise quarterback. Now there are a few bright spots on this team, but they are all on the defensive side of the ball. They finished the season ranked 12th in the NFL in total defense, and 17th in scoring defense. This is not too bad for a defense that was on the field a lot, thanks to the 34 turnovers their offense committed. On to their draft needs:
Offensive Line– I think this here is their biggest need. The Cardinal’s offensive line gave up 58 sacks, and they were last in terms of rushing in the NFL. With the 7th overall pick in the upcoming draft, I think they can definitely address this need. Luke Joeckel most likely won’t be there at 7, but another name that comes to mind is, Eric Fisher OT from Central Michigan, he dominated nearly every one-on-one drill at the Senior Bowl, and had a really good performance in the actual game. He would be an excellent option at the 7th pick. This draft does seem to be pretty deep when it comes to offensive lineman, so I think this need can be addressed later in the draft as well. Addressing this need is a really important matter however, because this team does play in a highly competitive division, where they play Aldon Smith and the 49ers pass rush twice, and The St. Louis Rams, who were tied with the Denver Broncos, for most sacks in the NFL (52).
Quarterback– Some people are still sold on Kevin Kolb being a franchise quarterback, I however, am not one of those people. He just doesn’t seem to have everything needed to be the quarterback for this team to be successful. And I am far less confident in John Skelton. Now this need is not as important as the offensive line, in my opinion, but for the long term it is definitely a necessity. Now this draft isn’t too deep on NFL starting quarterbacks, and honestly I’m not sold on any of them being a franchise quarterback, there’s a few with the potential, but they’d be a reach in the top ten in my opinion.
Running Back– With Beanie Wells’ future uncertain (and quite frankly even if it were certain, Beanie is not the running back everyone thought he would be coming out of college, including me.) Now this offensive line was horrible, and it was a huge reason that this team was last in rushing, but I also believe Beanie has underachieved since entering the league in 2009. There are a few later round options for the Cardinals in this years draft, nobody that will be an All-Pro or anything, but some rookies that can definitely come in and make an immediate impact. Names that come to mind are, Kenjon Barner and Gio Bernard, however, those are guys that they would need to get in the second round, because I don’t see them falling to the third. But if Beanie does stay, then a running back is no longer a necessity, and I don’t see Bruce Arians letting this team have such a horrid offense again.
Cornerback– I can see the Cardinals going after another corner, to pair with Patrick Peterson. William Gay is a decent corner, but if they can get somebody that is faster, younger and an overall better corner, that will definitely strengthen this already strong secondary. I really like David Amerson cornerback out of NC State, and I feel he has dropped on a lot of team’s draft boards, and he can be a real steal somewhere in the middle rounds.
Outside Linebacker– I can see the Cardinals going after another outside linebacker to help with the pass rush. The Cardinals had 38 sacks last season, which was tied for 12th in the NFL. However, it was Daryl Washington with 9 sacks that lead the team. As a middle linebacker in a 3-4 defense, it is normal for you to have a few sacks, however, to lead your team in sacks is something that should not happen. The outside linebackers in 3-4 defenses are your main pass rushers, and they need a lot of help there, where their two starters, Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield, combined for 8 sacks, which is one less than their leader in sacks.
Alright, there was my draft needs for the Arizona Cardinals, hope you guys enjoyed. Remember to leave comments with your own opinions. More coming soon!
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