Team needs: Arizona Cardinals

AP

Perhaps the most overlooked won-loss stat of the 2011 season was Arizona’s 7-2 record in the final nine games. The Cardinals’ defense stiffened, allowing an average of just 18.3 points per contest. Ken Whisenhunt still must fix his offense, though, and Arizona’s problems begin up front.

Offensive line: Quarterback Kevin Kolb senses pressure that isn’t there, but he might feel more comfort in the pocket if the Cardinals could cobble together sustained pass protection. Look for Arizona to use its first-round pick either on Stanford right guard David DeCastro or Georgia tackle/guard Cordy Glenn. Position coach Russ Grimm prefers thickly built linemen who can be maulers in the running game. He won’t fall for Stanford’s Jonathan Martin or Ohio State’s Mike Adams.

Wide receiver: Larry Fitzgerald remains a top-three NFL wideout going on age 29, and slot guy Early Doucet runs physically after the catch. The Cardinals lack a complementary outside receiver capable of exploiting man coverage downfield. They’ve shown interest in Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd and Arizona’s Juron Criner ahead of the draft.

Outside linebacker: Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield are potential-ridden young outside ‘backers, but neither is proven as a 16-game starter and the Cardinals have zero depth behind them. You can never have too many pass rushers.

Quarterback: John Skelton won a bunch of games last year and the Cardinals are paying Kolb a lot of money, but there’s little or no long-term stability at this position. Whisenhunt runs a historically vertical offense and will eye young signal callers with downfield passing ability. NFL Films guru Greg Cosell has pegged Ryan Lindley of San Diego State as a potential late-round sleeper. Lindley can make all of the throws, stands a strapping 6-foot-4, and scored high on his Wonderlic exam.

16 responses to “Team needs: Arizona Cardinals

  1. steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh says:
    Apr 16, 2012 8:05 AM
    They need to give up
    —————————————

    Please keep doing more stuff like this. It just makes the Steelers look SOOOO good.

  2. Floyd. Way too many interior linemen already on the roster, and the other wideouts past Fitz seem shaky half the time. Kolb needs an offseason before we call him a failure, and I doubt he will be with better play and that defense rampaging the way it did 2nd half of 2011. And you have to remember the sweet turbocharged V12 that was Arizona’s offense with Fitz and Bolden on each flank with good quarterback play. We need that solid #1a wide reciever more than anything available @ pick 13.

  3. OG DeCastro or WR Floyd would both be solid picks for the Cardinals. With the improved play from their defense at the end of last season it looks like they will pick a player from the offensive side of the ball.

    Good luck Cardinals

  4. rippa… so they should just forget that they drafted Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams the past two years? Pretty sure PFT got it right… they need OL

  5. 1. Offensive Line – they need to fill a couple holes and Snyder isn’t going to be a long term solution.
    2. Inside Linebacker – Washington is a very good player, but we need someone next to him. Bradley was supposed to be the guy, but he was a flop in his first season.
    3. Wide Receiver – They need someone who can stretch the field opposite Fitz. Roberts has the speed, but not the consistent hands. Doucet tends to be injury prone.
    4. Safety – Wilson is getting up there in years and has fought through some injuries. Rashad Johnson is not a very good backup, as we saw when Leon Washington shook him out of his cleats last season. It’s time to start grooming someone else back there.

  6. I’m going to give you a quick lesson Philly, Arizona needs a real running back. Their rush offense was ranked 24th in the league . 5 out of the 8 division winners were ranked in the top 10 in rush offense(Denver,San Fran,Houston,Baltimore and new Orleans ). And the 3 teams who weren’t in the top 10(green bay, Giants, Patriots) all have Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Something Arizona does not have.. So like I said before trade up and draft T Richardson .

  7. New owner. Trust me, as a long time Big Red fan going back to the days in St. Louis I can tell you the apple did not fall far enough from the tree. Best and only shot was with Kurt and he’s gone.

  8. If Warner was healthy and still playing, even at his age, this team would be a viable contender. Just goes to show that if you don’t have an elite QB, your doomed to spinning your wheels. And Kobb is NOT and never was a great QB- Andy Reid pulled the wool over a lot of eyes on that one.

  9. Isn’t AZ lacking a starting-caliber CB opposite Patrick Peterson? I feel that’s a bigger need than a QB.

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