The Arizona Cardinals addressed their biggest need during last week’s draft, but the front office still has some work to do
Most fans of the Arizona Cardinals would agree that the club did a bang-up job last week. This year’s NFL Draft supplied the organization with a quarterback who can lead them into the future. Besides landing Josh Rosen, the front office also attended to other needs as well, with wide receiver Christian Kirk and offensive lineman Mason Cole.
While general manager Steve Keim and company deserve kudos for a job well done, there’s still work to be done. Some other positions that needed the Cardinals attention were ignored. Fortunately, there are still some free agents available who could help them with those issues.
For reasons known only to him, Keim waited until the sixth round to select a candidate for the number-two cornerback spot. While Chris Campbell has solid measurables (6’1″, 195), the “late bloomer” started for just one full season in college. The Penn State University product joins a bevy of cover guys who are all vying to start opposite Patrick Peterson.
The current favorites to land the gig include Marcus Williams, Brandon Williams and Bene Benwikere. Any of those names give you confidence? There are a few more-capable choices still looking for work, including Bashaud Breeland (currently injured), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Adam Jones.
The Cardinals switch to a 4-3 alignment has created a need for some more defensive linemen. As of this writing, the team has yet to bring in a frontline defender with some pedigree. Some free agent possibilities include Johnathan Hankins, Cedric Thornton and Tyrunn Walker.
Another position that’s been disregarded this offseason is tight end. Jermaine Gresham is currently recovering from an Achilles’ tendon tear, Ricky Seals-Jones is raw and Troy Niklas is gone. Veterans who could provide some help include Antonio Gates, Marcedes Lewis and Julius Thomas.
Arizona’s depth at safety has gotten thin, thanks to the release of Tyrann Mathieu and the free agent status of Tyvon Branch. Antoine Bethea and Budda Baker are the starters, but there are other intriguing options still out there. Kenny Vaccaro, Tre Boston and Mike Mitchell are three that could upgrade the secondary instantly.
The Cardinals lost some experience at wide receiver with the free agent defections of John Brown and Jaron Brown. Kirk is a nice add, but a more-proven pass-catcher might be a good idea. Dez Bryant, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall are still on the market.
An NFL GM’s work is never done. Keim’s draft class has gotten some rave reviews but he can’t rest on his laurels. If the Cards are hoping to get back into the playoffs, complacency is not an option.