Team Needs: Arizona Cardinals
NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 10 Needs
1. OT - 4.0
2. LB - 4.0
3. WR - 2.5
4. OG - 2.5
5. DE - 2.0
6. S - 1.5
7. QB - 1.5
8. RB - 1.5
9. P - 1.5
10. K - 1.5
Quarterback - Kevin Kolb was the superior player, but the team seemed to respond better when John Skelton was in the lineup, prompting the team to open up the competition for this spot this summer. There is talk they could sniff around a veteran such as Peyton Manning should he be available. But that's likely the only option they'll look at since if Manning bounces back to his old form, he'll be a clear-cut upgrade, while other options probably won't be. If they don't land Manning, it's doubtful they do anything at this spot besides looking at late round developmental options. NEED: 1.5
Running Back - They need Wells to remain healthy, but they should get help with Ryan Williams coming back from injury next year. But given the issues here, they would probably look at adding a veteran depth option to replace free agent Chester Taylor. NEED: 1.5
Fullback - They drafted Anthony Sherman last year and he had a solid rookie year to grow for the future. NEED: 0.0
Wide Receiver - Andre Roberts finished the year strong and likely will return as the No. 2 option. Early Doucet is a free agent that they seem content to let test the market. If they lost him, they would be in need for a No. 3 option. Ultimately they could use some more depth to help push Roberts anyway. NEED: 2.5
Tight End - This is not a featured position in their offense, but they got production out of the combined due of Todd Heap and Jeff King, and it's doubtful that they make much changes here with Rob Housler as the developing No. 3 guy. NEED: 1.0
Offensive Tackle - Levi Brown has a cap hit of $17 million this year, so he's a candidate to be released. Although it seems they would much rather prefer to restructure or extend him to make that more palatable. He is a better fit at right tackle, where Brandon Keith has disappointed the past two years. They should try and find a legit left tackle to upgrade this spot, but either way it would be an upset if they don't make a major move here. NEED: 4.0
Offensive Guard - Daryn College and Rex Hadnot are a serviceable pair of starters, and the team seems ready to move on from the oft-overweight Deuce Lutui, who is a free agent. Their depth here includes aging vets, so getting a young developmental guard makes sense, since Hadnot is entering a contract year. NEED: 2.5
Center - Lyle Sendlein just signed an extension, and while he's nothing special, he's capable center. Hadnot provides depth, so it's not a major need. NEED: 1.0
Defensive Tackle - While Dan Williams doesn't remind anyone of Vince Wilfork, he's a solid run stopper. David Carter is a nice backup that subs in on passing downs. More depth wouldn't hurt, but it will be a low priority. NEED: 1.0
Defensive End - Calais Campbell is a free agent, but they are keen to keep him likely resulting in a franchise tag if need be. Darnell Dockett is still very disruptive pass rusher. If there's an issue they don't have a good backup. NEED: 2.0
Linebacker - Joey Porter and Clark Haggans are both free agents that they are unlikely to keep. Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield would then become the incumbent starters, and while they've flashed potential, they should be splitting reps opposite the top-flight edge rusher this defense needs. Daryl Washington is solid inside, and Paris Lenon is a savvy veteran, but overmatched. They could have him compete with Stewart Bradley again for the starting spot, but they could use some insurance in case he cannot be unseated. NEED: 4.0
Cornerback - Both Patrick Peterson and Richard Marshall got off to sluggish starts but played well down the stretch. Marshall is a free agent, but they want him back. If they can keep him, then A.J. Jefferson and Greg Toler should provide them with a solid nickel guy. Adding more help wouldn't hurt, but it's not a need if Marshall is retained. NEED: 1.5
Safety - Kerry Rhodes missed a big chunk of time due to a foot injury, but Rashad Johnson and Marshall were capable fill-ins. Adrian Wilson is still their top safety. Whether this is perceived as a need depends on whether they perceive Johnson as a long-term heir apparent for Wilson. He's been capable in spot duty the past few years, but they could add some insurance this April. NEED: 1.5
Kicker - Feely is a free agent and will turn 36 in May, but he's been fairly solid in Arizona and probably will be back. NEED: 1.5
Punter - Dave Zastudil is also a free agent, but had a nice bounce back season after missing all of 2010 with a knee injury. He could be back. NEED: 1.5
Return Specialist - Peterson was an elite punt returner, and LaRod Stephens-Howling is a solid kickoff returner. NEED: 0.0
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