There were few NFL teams who underwent as significant a face lift as the Arizona Cardinals did in the last seven months.
The reigning NFL Coach of the Year, Bruce Arians, was hired to replace the fired Ken Whisenhunt. Three of the four quarterbacks who formed one of the worst collections of signal callers the league has seen are gone, and veteran Carson Palmer was acquired in a trade. The team selected an offensive lineman in the first round of the NFL Draft for the first time since 2007.
Not everybody believes this massive renovation will lead to good things, however.
ProFootballTalk.com is releasing its preseason NFL rankings (one at a time over the next month, because, well, that’s the way lists get presented these days) and the Cardinals come in at a less-than-stellar number 29.
However, as Curtis Crabtree writes, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Redbirds’ 2013 season.
The Cardinals remain strong along the defensive line. Calais Campbell is one of the top 3-4 defensive ends in the game. Despite a slightly less productive season in the stat sheets Darnell Dockett remains a solid player and Dan Williams took a step forward at nose tackle.
Crabtree also lauds the wide receiver and linebacker positions (once Daryl Washington returns from suspension) as roster strengths heading into the new season.
The only teams who come in behind the Cardinals on the popular website’s preseason pecking order are Jacksonville (#30), Cleveland (#31) and Oakland (#32).
If it’s any consolation, 47 percent of voters on PFT’s poll think the Cardinals are ranked too low.