Cardinals add to offensive line during 2022 draft’s latter stages

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Marquis Hayes
(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Marquis Hayes /

The Arizona Cardinals front office waited until the final two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft to add offensive linemen to the roster.

It took quite a while, but any fans of the Arizona Cardinals who wanted the club to address the offensive line during last week’s draft finally got their wish. There were those who felt that Steve Keim would target that area of the roster during the first few rounds, but Arizona’s general manager had a different plan.

The Cards did ultimately add a couple of blockers to the squad, but Keim didn’t snag the first of the duo until the sixth round. It appears that management is more than satisfied with the team’s five starting linemen, so the two youngsters who were drafted this past Saturday likely won’t figure into the Redbirds’ immediate plans.

From left to right, the 2022 version of the Cardinals’ offensive line consists of D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh, Rodney Hudson, Will Hernandez, and Kelvin Beachum. The top backups who’ll be vying for playing time include Justin Murray, Josh Jones, and Sean Harlow. Do either of the rookie additions have what it takes to move their way up the depth chart this offseason?

The Arizona Cardinals drafted two blockers who are loaded with potential

With the second of their two selections in round six, Arizona landed Lecitus Smith, a guard out of Virginia Tech University. The 6-foot-3, 314-pounder started 38 games over four seasons for the Hokies, including 10 during the 2021 campaign.

When the Cards’ last pick (257th-overall) of the 2022 draft rolled around, Keim selected Marquis Hayes, a guard out of the University of Oklahoma. Back in 2018, the 6-foot-5, 324-pounder was a teammate of both Kyler Murray and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown with the Sooners.

Smith and Hayes have the next four months to show position coach Sean Kugler that they have what it takes to compete at the professional level. Many late-round choices struggle to make the 53-man roster, but Smith and Hayes may be talented enough to break that trend.

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