2010 NFL Mock Draft, Fans' Pick Edition: No. 26, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have won four playoff games in the past two seasons, after only one playoff win in the previous 50years, so it might seem they are pretty well set up without the draft and can simply fill ancillary parts for depth purposes.
Of course, to say that, you'd be ignoring some significant player movement that has already occurred this offseason. Pro Bowlers Kurt Warner and Bertrand Berry have retired. Anquan Boldin was traded and Karlos Dansby signed with the Dolphins. The Cardinals did manage to bring in Joey Porter and have backed up Matt Leinart with Derek Anderson at quarterback, but they still have plenty of immediate needs -- many more than you'd expect from a two-time defending division champion.
Their biggest holes are up the middle on defense. The Cards could use a strong nose tackle to keep some guys off their inside linebackers. Of course, they also need help at ILB, with the departure of Dansby looming large. The problem here is there may not be as much talent up the middle in the late-first round as at other positions. Some people may not trust Leinart or Anderson, thus believing the Cards should draft a signal-caller. A solid corner opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie couldn't hurt, nor could some additional offensive line help -- as the Cards will need to protect Leinart and provide good holes for the all-of-a-sudden very important run game. Still another possibility is an edge pass-rusher, as Porter alone may not be enough to
Previous Pick: Ravens -- Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma; Next Up: Cowboys
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Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers; Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland; Charles Brown, OT, USC; Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana: Take your pick here, as any of these guys would immediately make the offensive line stronger -- which is of even more importance now with the lack of experience under center.
Ricky Sapp, OLB/DE, Clemson; Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU; Everson Griffen, DE/OLB, USC: Sapp's stock has fallen big-time and appears to be a reach here. Hughes and Griffen, on the other hand, would both be pretty good value for the Cardinals. Both are solid pass-rushers who played DE in college and have enough athleticism to play outside linebacker in the Cards' 3-4 scheme.
Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama: A very fast and physical corner, who could give the Cardinals two Pro Bowl caliber corners within the next three seasons. Jackson is a great bump-and-run corner, though he's so physical throughout the route, his learning curve in the NFL (in terms of the strict pass interference and illegal contact penalties) may be pretty lengthy for a playoff team.
Terrance Cody, DT, Alabama: The massive 350-pound nose man is one of the best run-stuffers in the draft. No running back rushed for 100 yards against 'Bama with Cody in the lineup. He's that dominant in the middle. Of course, the downside is he's only helpful against the run and doesn't have enough stamina to play every down.
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas: I'm not seeing this one, but some might believe the Cardinals need to start over at quarterback, in light of Matt Leinart's career 7-10 record as a starter and pedestrian-at-best 70.8 passer rating.