Updated Oct 31, 2011 - 5:38 pm
Could the Cardinals find O-line help in the 2012 draft?
The team stands at 1-6 with the 21st ranked offense and 29th ranked defense.
Obviously there are plenty of holes to fill, and some could make the argument that almost every position needs an upgrade, but one glaring weakness the Cards possess is the offensive line. This season the line has allowed 24 sacks, second most in the NFL.
Not to be pessimistic or anything, but the Cardinals are well on their way to earning a top five pick for the second consecutive year.
So even though there are nine weeks left the season we decided to look at the top offense linemen in next year's draft.
USC OT Matt Kalil
Kalil has been compared to former number one pick Jake Long. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both rank him as the best offensive lineman in the 2012 class, and both have him number two on their big board. Only problem is if Kiper and McShay are right then the Cardinals probably won't have the chance to draft the offensive tackle. That's because the Colts and Dolphins will probably have the top two picks in the draft, since both currently sit at 0-7 and are actually in worse condition than the Cardinals.
Stanford OT Jonathan Martin
ESPN Scouts Inc. currently ranks Martin as the seventh overall prospect. Kiper ranks him sixth on his big board and says he is a trusted blindside blocker for Andrew Luck with good ability to get to the second level. McShay ranks him seventh on his board. If Kalil is gone this could be the best possible fit for the Cardinals, who could sit as high as third in the draft.
Iowa OT Riley Reiff
Reiff, yet another offensive tackle, ranks ninth on Kiper's board and 12th on McShay's. One positive about Reiff is that he has not missed a game at Iowa, which shows his durability. Kiper writes that the Hawkeye moves well and is effective at getting under the pads of defenders and is another complete tackle expected to be taken in the top ten.
Georgia T/G Cordy Glenn
Now even though the above three players are all ranked in Kiper and McShay's top 32, Glenn is not. McShay doesn't rank Glenn but Kiper ranks him 16th. Kiper ranks the current Bulldog 16th because of two factors: experience and versatility. Glenn can play either tackle or guard, which could make him valuable among NFL teams that shuffle offensive linemen around, like the Cardinals.
Stanford G David DeCastro
DeCastro is the second Stanford Cardinal to make the list and while Kiper doesn't rank him, McShay puts him at number 20 on his top 32. McShay wrote that DeCastro is the "most dominant" inside lineman in the nation. DeCastro is an integral part of the Stanford O-line that helps the team rush for an average of 219 yards per game. Could be a perfect to open up holes for the between the tackles running style of Beanie Wells.
Oklahoma State OT Levy Adcock
Kiper ranks Adcock 25th on his big board. The 6-6, 322 pound senior is versatile with good footwork and movement. Adcock's biggest strength is his consistency, something a struggling Cardinals offensive line has yet to find.
DeCastro, Reiff, Martin and Kalil are all underclassmen so even though it's expected they'll come out, there is no guarantee meaning that the top offensive lineman in next year's draft could be Cordy Glenn.
Remember, this is only a list of the top ranked offensive linemen, the player's that will most likely be taken in the first two rounds -- if not the first round alone. There will be plenty more talent to pick from in the following rounds.
- Wolf's NFL 5 Star Games - Week 14 - Friday December 6The must-see NFL games of the weekend.
- Wolf's Film Room - Friday December 6Ron Wolfley grinds film all week and shares his findings in the Cardinals-Rams match-up
- John Clayton, ESPN NFL Insider - Friday December 6The Professor provides insight into this week's NFL headlines
- Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL Analyst - Thursday December 5A recap of the Cardinals game in Philly and what to expect against the Rams.
- Craig Wolfley, Steelers Sideline Analyst - Thursday December 5Will Ben Roethlisberger leave the Steelers?