Less than a week away from the NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals are refining their big board and hoping to get a quality player with the 20th overall pick.
While some experts have mocked up draft scenarios with the Cardinals taking a quarterback or another offensive weapon, NFL Network draft analyst Bucky Brooks says the team should draft to its strength.
“I think they are leaning towards upgrading their defense,” Brooks told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “When you look at their defense and the fact that their defense played lights out and that it kept them in contention and gave them an opportunity to really make a run at the playoffs, I think you can add a couple pieces. You have a Darnell Dockett who is getting a little older. Maybe you find a replacement for him, maybe a Ra’Shede Hageman, someone who can kind of fit the bill. Stephon Tuitt also can play in that position.”
Brooks also said that the Cardinals would benefit greatly from a pass rusher who can get to the quarterback quick.
“The one thing that they are missing is someone that can wreak havoc on the outside on their own accord,” Brooks said. “I know John Abraham did a good job, but look; he’s 35, almost 36-years-old. You need to find a young guy that can get it done. That’s why you are seeing a lot of people liking Dee Ford at that position and at that spot at 20.”
Barring a trade, the Cardinals will be picking after the St. Louis Rams make two selections, and before the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks make their first. The Cardinals are looking to surpass their NFC West foes, and Brooks says defense is the way to do it.
“We talk about the Cardinals defense being their strength and if they are going to fortify that, imagine the kind of damage they can wreak on the NFC West,” Brooks said. “You have to find a way to own your division. The only way that you can own your division is to build enough ammunition to take down the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. Those are two of the best defensive teams in all of football. I think we can say that either one of their offenses are the most explosive in the game, but because of their defense and because they are able to run the ball and find ways to score, they are always a tough out. The Arizona Cardinals are right there. Adding a couple pieces, a pass rusher or maybe another safety or maybe even a nickel cornerback gives them an opportunity to get over the hump.”