Arizona Cardinals: Top 5 DL Free Agents


The Arizona Cardinals need some help with their pass rush in the upcoming 2015 season

The Arizona Cardinals have decent guys on the defensive line but they are lacking a true pass rusher who can consistently get to the opposing quarterback.  Sure, defensive end Calais Campbell is good.  He was a Pro-Bowler in 2014, but he had just seven sacks.  Even he will tell you he left a lot on the field.

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In the game at the Seattle Seahawks, Campbell missed an easy opportunity to sack quarterback Russell Wilson at least three times.  Sure, the Cardinals could also get defensive tackle Darnell Dockett back.  There is some debate if they can get him back.  Even if he returns, let’s not forget he’s getting up in age.  The Cardinals will look at drafting a guy I’m sure but if they prefer the free agent market here, these are the top five guys the Cardinals should look at.

1. Jerry Hughes

The Buffalo Bills end was a guy the Cardinals passed on in the draft a few years ago.  They decided on his TCU teammate Daryl Washington instead.  Hughes had 53 tackles and 10 sacks in 2014.  If you can move Campbell into more of a tackle, put Hughes on the end, this could spell double trouble for opponents.

2. Jason Pierre-Paul

He’s unlikely to be in an Arizona Cardinals uniform in 2015 because of his price tag.  He may also become unavailable if the New York Giants place a franchise tag on him.  He had his contract voided but that only means the Giants may be preparing for a new contract.  If for some reason the Giants can’t work something out or don’t place a tag on him, the Cardinals would be prudent to at least think about it.  His 77 tackles and 12.5 sacks last season dictate that.

3. Tommy Kelly

The Cardinals need to seriously think about bringing him back.  His name was called a lot this season.  He seemed to somewhat become a steal after the New England Patriots released him right before the 2014 season.  He had 33 tackles and one sack at the tackle position last season.  Many of his tackles kept the opposition to very minimal yardage.  Even though he had just the one sack he is a guy the Cardinals can use again in 2015.

4. Kevin Williams

Although he started just eight of the 16 games he played in for the Seahawks in 2014, he still had 30 tackles and three sacks.  That’s more production than the Cardinals got out of Dan Williams last season.  Dan Williams had just one sack in 2014.

5. Dwan Edwards

The Carolina Panthers tackle had 40 tackles and four sacks in 2014.  He also had an interception last season.  He did not start a single game.  He hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2011.  He is 33 years old, so that is a concern but for a guy with his numbers, not starting a single game, given his age, he’s a great depth guy.