PFF: Arizona Cardinals need to target OT in 2020 NFL Draft

Nov 19, 2019, 9:48 AM
General manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during team OTA's at the Dignity Healt...
General manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during team OTA's at the Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center on May 29, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The case could be made for the Arizona Cardinals to patch any one of their roster’s holes with a 2020 first-round draft pick.

Defensive line, offensive line and receiver come to mind first. Depending on where the Cardinals end up in the draft order, a case could be made for them to draft for any position on the defensive side of the ball.

But to Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner, it’s offensive tackle that needs to be the priority for Arizona.

They’ve certainly made strides from 2018, but they still have a long way to go. Both tackles (D.J. Humphries and Marcus Gilbert) are impending free agents, and they could still do better than the 50 pressures their tackle group has combined to allow so far this season.

Humphries is the most interesting case.

The Cardinals’ 2015 first-round pick has done enough so far in 2019 to prove he’s healthy after a string of injuries sabotaged his development, and his performances so far this year justify re-signing him to a reasonable deal.

Is he an elite starting left tackle? That’s yet to be proven.

Gilbert, of course, hasn’t played in 2019 after suffering a season-ending knee injury just before the regular season began.

A veteran who still holds a strong voice in the locker room, it’s possible the Cardinals could trust in his rehab and experience in the system to re-sign him as depth. But the 31-year-old’s health is a huge red-flag.

Preseason waiver-wire addition Justin Murray has been a viable starter, filling in around the knee injuries to Gilbert and Jordan Mills. But like Gilbert and Mills, Murray is also a free agent (of the exclusive rights variety) after 2019.

With only rookie seventh-round pick Josh Miles under contract beyond this year, there’s no doubt that the Cardinals want to upgrade at tackle even if they re-sign tackles. So what does the 2020 draft class have to offer?

While there’s not a deep crop of top tackle prospects, there are a few linemen that are revered as the cream of the crop.

Georgia junior Andrew Thomas is viewed as a top-15 prospect by most analysts such as ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., or Renner from PFF.

Behind Thomas is Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood, who could help his stock even more as Alabama closes out the 2019 season without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

While ESPN’s NFL draft duo doesn’t view the offensive tackle depth the same, Renner also really likes Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, who he has as a potential top-10 pick.

The Cardinals could have some options depending on the draft order. As they enter a bye week with a 3-7-1 record, they sit at No. 9 in the drafting order.



Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
18 hours ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
2 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
2 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, left, talks with Cardinals offensive lineman Kelvi...
Jake Anderson

Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins reveals what led to PED suspension

DeAndre Hopkins on Wednesday revealed what was in his system that resulted in his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's PED policy.
4 days ago
PFF: Arizona Cardinals need to target OT in 2020 NFL Draft