Arizona Cardinals fans should lose no sleep if team drafts an offensive lineman
By Sion Fawkes
Defense is a big need for the Arizona Cardinals, and it could even get bigger if and when they trade safety Budda Baker. But don’t worry if they go offense.
Earlier this month, we at Raising Zona speculated that the Arizona Cardinals could perhaps take a running back in Bijan Robinson, a receiver in Quentin Johnston, or even an offensive lineman in Peter Skoronski. Of course, Robinson and Johnston would draw immediate excitement for fans given their game-breaking ability, but offensive linemen don’t bring fans out of seats in the same way.
In fact, some fans in the Red Sea could be outright livid if the Cards roll with a lineman because they have so many needs. And as it stands, the offensive line looks like a position of strength.
But in reality, it would be a smart move if general manager Monti Ossenfort wishes to build this team from the trenches and outward, especially if he has a quarterback in Kyler Murray ready and raring to return from a torn ACL. That said, don’t lose sleep if Ossenfort goes with a guard or a tackle in Round 1.
Arizona Cardinals would be smart to draft an offensive lineman
There are more than a few offensive linemen I would love to see in the desert. Peter Skoronski of Northwestern is one of them, Broderick Jones of Alabama is another, O’Cyrus Torrence of Florida is one I’ve been hot on, as is Ohio State’s Paris Johnson. All of the above will be available at third overall, and you can count on most sticking around even if the Cards trade back to somewhere between the seventh and 12th selections.
Of course, they still need that elusive center, so someone like John Michael Schmitz, Joe Tippmann, or Ricky Stromberg would be good options in the second round with the 34th pick. Rolling with a tackle or guard early, then snagging a center later would be huge, because it would give the Cardinals an immediate identity as a run-first, smash mouth team.
And they would have the personnel to run such an offense with a couple more linemen in front of them. You have a mobile quarterback in Kyler Murray once he’s cleared to return, a bruiser in James Conner, plus two good tight ends in Zach Ertz and Trey McBride. Add in one more running back, and you would be looking at some serious throwback football led by head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing.
So yeah, I fully endorse selecting an offensive lineman in the first round, plus a center in the second. Sure, it leaves a void on defense, at least for the moment, but you can be rest-assured that a run-heavy, throw when necessary Arizona Cardinals team would forge an immediate identity.
Source: McShay’s intel: Cardinals could be eyeing OT with 1st-round pick by Kevin Zimmerman, ArizonaSports.com