Draft Preview - Arizona Cardinals

Draft Preview - Arizona Cardinals

Arizona addressed a huge need, at least in the short term by trading for quarterback Carson Palmer. What positions will the Cardinals address in the coming 2013 NFL Draft.

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Arizona Cardinals
2013 draft picks:
1st round (7), 2(38), 3(69), 4(103), 5(140), 6(174, 176)

Talk about a makeover, this franchise will have a new look roster headlined by the new Arizona head coach Bruce Arians. The Cardinals have made a handful of additions and subtractions with their personnel on both sides of the ball.

The most notable new name is quarterback Carson Palmer who they got in a trade with the Raiders. Arians and the Arizona brass must still feel that Palmer still has something left in the tank. Of course Arians knows all about former Steeler running back Reshard Mendenhall. If healthy he could give the Cardinals a big boost in the run game. But their success or lack of will boil down to their offensive line play. This unit for Arizona last year was horrific, giving up 58 sacks in 2012.

Defensively, the Cardinals have added some veterans up front and on the back end with players like defensive ends Matt Shaughnessy , Ronald Talley and Frostee Rucker and safeties Yeremiah Bell, Rashard Johnson, and Jonathan Amaya and cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Antoine Cason .

Needs
1. Offensive Line

It's likely that Arizona could land one of the three offensive tackles with their first pick. The most likely player would be Lane Johnson from Oklahoma. If he's there at No. 7 in the first round the Cardinals have to draft him. It's doubtful Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher will be but that would be a good problem to have if you are Arizona – you just draft the guy you have rated higher. If Arizona elects to wait until their second round selection to draft an o-tackle they could be targeting Terron Armstead. Certainly they could address this need with later picks but they need a sure fire guy to pencil on for Sunday's this fall.

In terms of interior offensive linemen, expect to see Arizona draft a guard at some point. Alvin Bailey, Eric Herman, Travis Bond, and Garrett Gilkey are a few prospects to keep an eye on in the mid to late rounds.

2. Quarterback
Arizona has started six different signal callers since Curt Warner retired. Now, at least for the short term, the Cardinals can lean on Palmer for stability at this position. One would think that drafting a young quarterback to groom behind Palmer is in the plans. There's no question that they will do their due diligence with the quarterbacks being talked about as possibilities like Geno Smith and Matt Barkley. Now with Palmer on board, they address the QB issue later in the draft. Guys like Mike Glennon, Tyler Wilson or Tyler Bray could be available with their 69 pick.

3. Safety
The Cardinals are bringing in some veteran players mentioned above. At their spot in the second round some pretty good safeties could still be on the board when they pick at No. 38. Names like Matt Elam, Eric Reid, Jonathan Cyprien and D.J. Swearinger are ones to watch there. It's a good year at this position in this draft and the Cardinals could find another one in rounds three or four.

4. Linebacker
Arizona needs an inside presence and a guy on the outside that can get after the passer. They could certainly address the later need with their first selection with a guy like Jarvis Jones, who at this time, appears will be available with their top pick. Another player to watch for is Jamie Collins. This outside linebacker is a mid-2nd or 3rd round guy.

5. Cornerback
This is a deep position in this draft and they would love to find a compliment to their star in cornerback Patrick Peterson. Cason and Powers will have their chances to contribute but you can see Arizona going this route later in the draft. Watch for names like Terry Hawthorne, Nickel Robey, Dwayne Gratz, Johnny Adams, Brandon McGee, etc.

6. Running Back
Chris Wells is gone. Now it's Mendenhall's turn. But can he stay healthy? The same goes for Ryan Williams. The Cardinals should be able to find a nice compliment to this stable at some point during the draft.

Key Acquisitions
Carson Palmer (QB)
Drew Stanton (QB)
Reshard Mendenhall (RB)
Matt Shaughnessy (DE)
Ronald Talley (DE)
Frostee Rucker (DE)
Jasper Brinkley (MLB)
Lorenzo Alexander (OLB)
Yeremiah Bell (S)
Rashard Johnson (S)
Jonathan Amaya (S)
Jerraud Powers (CB)
Antoine Cason (CB)

No Longer With The Team
Kevin Kolb (QB)
John Skelton (QB)
Chris Wells (RB)
Early Doucet (WR)
Rich Ohrnberger (OG)
Quentin Groves (OLB)
Adrian Wilson (S)
Greg Toler (CB)
Williams Gay (CB)

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