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Arizona Cardinals Team Needs

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Arizona Cardinals Team Needs
By: Emmett Willson

The Cardinals have the top ranked passing game in the NFL but the Quarterback situation is hazy right now. Kurt Warner is 34 years old and Josh McCown appears to be done in Arizona leaving the Cards one QB short. Matt Leinart of USC and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame in round 1, Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt and Omar Jacobs of Bowling Green in round 2 and Charlie Whitehurst of Clemson and Bruce Gradkowski of Toledo in round 3 are all possible picks.

Tight End:
The Cardinals achilles heel is their Tight Ends, posing little to no threat in the red zone and dropping a lot of balls due to lack of focus. A big, physical tight end with great hands and red zone ability is exactly what the doctor has order for the Cards. Marcedes Lewis of UCLA and Vernon Davis of Maryland in round 1, Leonard Pope of Georgia in round 2 and Domynique Byrd of USC in the 2nd or 3rd rounds are all great fits.

Offensive Tackle:
The offensive line continually plagued the Cardinals this year with the Leonard "Big" Davis experiment at tackle a major bust and penalties and inadequate run blocking being the norm. A smaller, faster tackle who's quick off the ball should be the right fit for the Cardinals. D'Brickashaw Ferguson of Virginia and Jonathan Scott of Texas in round 1, Andrew Whitworth of LSU and Winston Justice of USC in the 2nd and guys like Doug Free of Northern Illinois, Bob Warren of Bowling Green and Travis Leffew of Lousville on the 2nd day would all be great additions to the offensive line.

Offensive Guard:
The offensive guard position has been the weakest position on the Cardinals offense, especially in run blocking. Reggie Wells was a big let down before he was injured for the season, rookie Elton Brown has had trouble adjusting to the pro game and our bench is extremely weak, allowing opposing defensive tackles to own the line of scrimmage. Davin Joseph of Oklahoma, Max Jean-Gilles of Georgia, Ryan O'Callaghan of Cal, Matt Lentz of Michigan, Charles Spencer of Pittsburgh, Aaron Lips of Louisiana Tech and Mark Setterstrom of Minnesota in the 1st through the 3rd rounds are all great picks at a must pick position.

Offensive Center:
As you can see, the offensive line has been a major trouble spot for the Cardinals. 2nd year starter Alex Stepanovich had a successful rookie campaign only to follow it up with a horrible sophmore season riddled with injuries and bad play. The center position was so troubled with injuries this season; the Cardinals took the field for their season opener with their 4th string center! Greg Eslinger of Minnesota, Mike Degory of Florida and Ryan Cook of New Mexico in the 2nd and 3rd rounds would all be welcome additions.

Defensive Tackle:
The team with the 28th ranked rushing defense is only one piece of the puzzle away from having an amazing front 4; a defensive tackle. Russell Davis was decent at best until he was placed on injured reserve early in the year and backup Ross Kolodziej is not an NFL starter. A big body who can stuff the run is what's most needed, meaning guys like Haloti Ngata of Oregon and Claude Wroten of LSU in the 1st and Gabe Watson of Michigan and Jesse Mahelona of Tennessee in the 2nd fit the Cards need to a tee.

Middle Linebacker:
As much heat as the defensive tackles have taken over being the 28th ranked defense, the middle linebacker isn't helping them out. Orlando Huff, a free agent signee from Seattle is not starter caliber, lacking the instincts and the drive that all elite middle linebackers' posses. A guy who is aggressive against the run and has a nose for the ball is what this defense desperately needs. AJ Hawk of Ohio State, Ahmad Brooks of Virginia and Abdul Hodge of Iowa would be excellent 1st round picks and guys like D'Qwell Jackson of Maryland and Spencer Havner of UCLA would be superb 2nd round selections.

The Cardinals made a serious attempt to fix the problem at the cornerback position this past off-season selecting Antrel Rolle in the 1st round and Eric Green in the 3rd, but they're still horribly weak at the position. Jimmy Williams of Virginia Tech and Tye Hill of Clemson are great 1st round options, Alan Zemaitis of Penn State, Charles Gordon of Kansas and Demario Minter of Georgia would be excellent 2nd round choices and guys like Cedric Griffin of Texas and Kelly Jennings of Miami(FL) would be huge steals in the 3rd to 4th rounds.

Free Safety:
Free safety was a big problem last year that may have only gotten worse over the course of the off-season. 34 year old Robert Griffith was added and he's definitely shown his age, as he's not been the dominant tackler he once was and is a huge liability in coverage. A free safety with great coverage skills is the need here and that could mean drafting LaRon Landry of LSU and Micheal Huff of Texas in the 1st, 2nd round options Nate Salley of Ohio State and Donnie McCleskey of Cal and of course Ko Simpson of South Carolina should he enter.

Kick Return Specialist:
The Cardinals have annually been ranked in the bottom half of the league in kick and punt returns and haven't returned a kick or punt for a touchdown in years. Ashlan Davis of Tulsa, Steve Breaston of Michigan, Charles Gordon of Kansas and Skyler Green of LSU would all be huge additions to the kick return team.

Discuss the Bengals team needs in our Cincinnati Bengals Forum.

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