The University of Florida will be well-represented on the offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals during the upcoming season
Don’t look now, but the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line has once again been reshuffled. General manager Steve Keim, who actually was a starting left guard in college, has struggled to assemble a quality blocking unit in the desert. Year in and year out the issue surfaces, causing a major headache for the Cards’ front office.
Due to a couple of offseason additions made to address the problem, the club’s offensive line suddenly has taken on a University of Florida flavor. Three of the Cardinals’ blockers, coincidentally or not, are former Gators. In fact, both of the squad’s starting tackles played for the SEC school.
D.J. Humphries, Arizona’s starter at left tackle, was a first-round draft pick out of Florida in 2015. Unfortunately, the 25-year has been plagued by injuries and inconsistency over the past four campaigns. The team’s management is hopeful that their former top selection will start paying dividends for the organization this season.
Several weeks ago, Keim orchestrated a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers for another ex-Gator. Marcus Gilbert, acquired for a sixth-round pick, will man the Cards’ right tackle spot. The 31-year old, a second-round choice of the Steelers back in 2011, has started 87 games during his NFL career.
Back on March 14th, the Cardinals signed free agent guard Max Garcia to a one-year contract. The 27-year old was a team captain at Florida, and was a second-team, all-SEC performer in 2014. Garcia will most likely compete with another Arizona newcomer, J.R. Sweezy, for playing time at right guard.
It appears that Cards’ quarterback Josh Rosen may be relying on three former Florida Gators to keep him upright in 2019. And running back David Johnson could be looking to the trio to open lanes for him to scamper through. With a little help from the SEC University, Keim has hopefully solved the Cards’ offensive line woes, once and for all.