Skip to main content

Around the League

Presented By

NFL draft questions: What if Cards don't target O-line?

With the 2013 NFL Draft approaching, Around The League will examine one big question facing all 32 teams. Next up: The Arizona Cardinals.

Cardinals are going to upgrade their O-line ... right?

The Arizona Cardinals' offensive line was train wreck reality television last season. The unit allowed a league-high 58 sacks. The rushing game was held to a paltry 3.4 yards per carry average. Kevin Kolb still has nightmares.

Even with Levi Brown returning, the unit screams for an upgrade of talent and depth. That said, new coach Bruce Arians believes the team has pieces already in place to make the unit work.

2013 NFL Draft: Team needs


Our analysts examine each team's game plan entering the NFL draft, identifying biggest needs, potential fits and more. **More ...**

"It's not as near the dire straits everyone wants to make it out to be," Arians said in February.

We're not convinced the Cardinals don't use their first pick (seventh overall) to upgrade the line, whether that be at tackle (Lane Johnson?) or guard (Jonathan Cooper?). But if the offensive line really isn't Arizona's early-round focus, then what is?

Safety is certainly an option. The team released both Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson. In steps the untested Rashad Johnson and free-agent acquisition Yeremiah Bell, a nice stopgap who turned 35 last month. Kenny Vaccaro (Texas) would be a stretch in the first, but he's a versatile player who can help the defense on multiple levels. John Cyprien (Florida International) and Matt Elam (Florida) are possible second-round options.

Running back could also be a focus. Former second-round pick Ryan Williams is back from ACL surgery, while free-agent acquisition Rashard Mendenhall is attempting to rebuild his stock on a prove-it deal.

We're sure Arians sees a big comeback season from Mendenhall (who he coached in Pittsburgh), but Mendenhall was slow to come back from his own ACL surgery in 2012. Alabama's Eddie Lacy -- widely believed to be the best back in this class -- might be available with the sixth pick of the second round.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content