The Arizona Cardinals led the NFL in sacks allowed in 2012 with a total of 58.
That’s not good.
The team’s much-maligned offensive line suffered a rash of injuries as well as ineffectiveness, and it led to the team struggling in both the running and passing games.
As such, conventional wisdom says the Cardinals should address the shortcomings via the NFL Draft, perhaps even with their first round pick.
Cardinals tight end Jeff King, though, thinks the solution to the woes on the offensive line may already be on the roster.
“I don’t think our offensive line is as far off as people think with the emergence of Nate Potter and Bobby Massie,” he said while co-hosting Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday.
Potter, a seventh round pick out of Boise State, and Massie, a fourth round selection out of Mississippi, both got significant playing time as rookies. Massie started at right tackle from day one, while Potter was insterted into the lineup Week 9 against Green Bay.
Each had varying levels of success, with Massie making notable improvement as the season wore on.
“If you go back and look at the way Bobby Massie played against Chris Long the first time we played St. Louis at St. Louis on that Thursday night, and then we played them a couple weeks later here in Arizona, two different players,” King said. “He grew so much and had so much thrown at him through 16 games against some really good players that you can’t help but to get better.”
King said he believes Massie will turn out to be a good player, but his highest praise may have been for Potter.
“Nate Potter reminds me a lot of Jordan Gross,” he said.
Gross was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the eighth pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and was a teammate of King’s for five seasons.
“Just about the way that he’s a technician and the way he goes about it,” King said of the similarities. “Obviously he’s got a lot of growing to do, a lot of growing to do.”
Given that, should the Cardinals look to April’s draft as a way to fix the line?
“In my opinion, no,” King said. “Just by watching those guys play, the improvement that I saw, knowing how they prepared,” he said.
But King did offer one caveat.
“Do we all need to play better up front,” he said. “Absolutely, there’s no doubt about that.”