Arizona Cardinals 2012 NFL Draft Team Needs
The Arizona Cardinals endured a terrible 2009 season due to horrible quarterback play. Enter Kevin Kolb last season, and this was supposed to be a playoff team again. Instead, Kolb struggled to be consistent and also dealt with several injuries.
In the end, the defense and backup quarterback John Skelton were the bright spots. So, where do the Cardinals go from here? The guess is they keep adding to a solid defense and let Kolb and Skelton duke it out for the starting gig. But there are more holes to fill.
Here’s a look at their major needs heading into the 2012 NFL Draft, and how they might address some of them:
Offensive Needs: OT, WR, QB
Arizona brought Levi Brown back but he can be improved upon. This offensive line as a whole hasn’t been the best at protecting the quarterback, and it starts at the tackle positions. Even if Brown is set in stone, they could still take a hard look at one of the top tackles in the first round. Riley Reiff, Mike Adams, and Jonathan Martin could all get a look.
Their second glaring need on offense has to be wide receiver. Both Andre Roberts and Early Doucet are talented, but they’re also very inconsistent. They need another guy to step up and take some double-teams away from Larry Fitzgerald. Alshon Jeffery or Reuben Randle could slide to the second round. If they want to make a splash early, perhaps they go for Michael Floyd, Stephen Hill or Kendall Wright in the first.
Kevin Kolb and John Skelton both have their deficiencies. It may be time again to add another talent behind them to see if they can be pushed further. This will take place in the middle rounds if it happens at all, where guys like Kirk Cousins, Ryan Lindley, and Nick Foles could draw their eye.
Defensive Needs: ILB, OLB, CB
Arizona’s defense was terrible to start last year, but they grouped together and ended up being a pretty tough unit down the stretch. They could still improve their inside-linebacker talent, and this need could cause them to pull the trigger on Luke Kuechly, should he be available. Either way, they have to add another inside man at some point in this draft – heck, maybe even two. Nigel Bradham could be a solid prospect in the middle to late rounds.
Their outside pass-rush can get better, too, and they could pull the trigger more than once here. I like the idea of landing Courtney Upshaw in the first, while a sliding Shea McClellin could be a fantastic find in the second. Oregon’s Josh Kaddu could still be around somewhere between rounds 3-5.
They lost Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last season and could still work to get some depth back in their secondary. Look for them to go after some middle-to-late round prospects like Coryell Judie or Coty Sensanbaugh.
Arizona’s biggest problem is it’s play out of the quarterback position. If they beef up their o-line and add another weapon at some point, that could go a long way in making that situation better. Unfortunately, there might not be a fix to Kolb or Skelton. We’ll just have to see how that plays out.
Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. In 2012, Roberts finished 16th overall in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup's NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin