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Arizona Cardinals offensive line makes CBS Sports list of ‘most improved’

Last season, it was no secret the Arizona Cardinals struggled with their run game.

They averaged a league-low 3.35 yards per carry (solely running back production) with just six touchdowns and four fumbles. Starting running back Andre Ellington was out for the final month of Arizona’s season, during which time the Cardinals did not score a single rushing touchdown.

So head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim set about fixing their issues on the ground in both the draft and free agency.

CBS Sports says moves like scooping up guard Mike Iupati, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, in free agency, and picking up a surprisingly fast and very, very large right tackle in D.J. Humphries in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, have made the Cardinals offensive line the seventh-most-improved position group thus far in 2015.

While obviously not a part of the offensive line, the Cardinals also picked up 6-foot-1, 224-pound running back David Johnson, who fits the mold of the bigger back Arizona needs to punch through tough NFC West defenses.

The projected improvement on the ground could be the gift that keeps on giving, as Johnson said he feels he’s able to “protect for (quarterback) Carson Palmer and make sure that he doesn’t get hit — make sure he stays healthy.”

CBS Sports also says the second-most deteriorated position group in the league is the inside linebacker corps from NFC West rival San Francisco.