Top 3 needs for the Arizona Cardinals heading into the offseason
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals are 4-9 and quarterback Kyler Murray is most likely out for the year, meaning it’s time to start talking offseason.
For the first time since 2018, the Arizona Cardinals find themselves eliminated from playoff contention with a month to go in the regular season. Theoretically, they still have a chance for a playoff berth, but let’s be realistic here – They are not going to the playoffs.
As it stands, and this is subject to change, the Redbirds have the sixth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. And with the sixth pick, the Cardinals can land a playmaker. Question is, which positions does Arizona need to target in five short months? Here are the top three.
1 – Edge Rusher
The Arizona Cardinals have just 24 sacks this season, tying them for the fifth-lowest number in the NFL. J.J. Watt and Zach Allen lead the team in sacks, but they are both defensive linemen who the Redbirds must re-sign if they want them back in the desert for 2023. The consensus so far is that Watt will go and Allen will stay.
But what about edge? Rookies Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas lead all edge rushers on the team with two sacks apiece. Not necessarily gamebreaking, right? In short, the Cardinals need drastic help at edge.
2 – Cornerback
Byron Murphy needs to re-sign in the offseason, and odds are, he will. He has evolved into the Arizona Cardinals top man at the position, and they will pay him well for it. On the other end, Marco Wilson has held his own, but he would fare best as a nickelback.
Further, neither are elite shutdown corners, and the Cardinals have lacked one since Patrick Peterson was in his prime. Look for the Redbirds to target a corner early if they bring in an edge rusher via free agency or trade. I don’t see this as big of a need as edge, but it can become one if the Cards address the former.
3 – Offensive Line
The Arizona Cardinals should be set at left tackle with D.J. Humphries, and Josh Jones can bookend the right side. That leaves holes in the other three positions. Lecitus Smith may be the answer at one of the guard positions, but we still have two more positions to fill on the interior.
Cody Ford and Billy Price were acquired this season, but neither seem to be the answer. Rodney Hudson will most likely retire, and if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Cardinals cut him loose. Look for the team to target some linemen in the middle rounds.
Article Source: 2023 NFL Draft order: Seahawks vault Bears for No. 2 pick; Eagles fourth by Dan Parr & Eric Edholm
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