The Cardinals have the seventh pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and they have a number of different directions they could go with the pick.
Anyone who watched the Cardinals for any extended period of time last season, saw an offensive line that, at times, looked about as strong as tissue paper.
However, once rookie tackles Bobby Massie and Nate Potter started to develop, and understand the system they were in, you saw a shift in the play of the line.
A line that had given up 35 sacks in the first seven games, gave up just 23 in the final nine.
The offensive line struggles had a direct impact on the play of the Cardinals’ quarterbacks, who threw just 11 touchdowns in 16 games.
I mentioned the numerous directions the team could head in with their pick. It seems as if the mock draft experts are torn as to whom the Cardinals should choose.
I’ve seen names like tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan, guard Chance Warmack from Alabama thrown out, along with quarterbacks Geno Smith from West Virginia, Matt Barkley from USC and Mike Glennon from NC State.
These are all great athletes, who I’m sure would all do well under head coach Bruce Arians, but to me, I think it will come down to whether or not Arians thinks the current quarterbacking corps of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer can get it done in his vertical passing system.
It will also depend on if the team wants to roll the dice, keep Kolb around and pay him the $11 million he’s owed this coming season, or go in a different direction, meaning drafting one of the aforementioned quarterbacks at No. 7, or taking a lineman with that pick, then moving up late in the first round to take a QB.
Things are so fluid here in Indianapolis when it comes to the Combine and where teams have players seeded on their charts, and where those players will be on said charts once it’s all said and done with their workouts and the one-on-ones with the players.
All I can tell you is that, to me, offensive line should be the Cardinals first concern.
The resume tape of the 2012 Cardinals’ offensive line will provide all the proof you need.
The Cardinals couldn’t go wrong with either Warmack or Fisher at seven. Both are proven and rock solid at their respective positions, and seem to be NFL ready.
Plus, if you’re the Cardinals, you’ve learned from last season that it pays to have as many healthy bodies on your front line as possible.