NFL Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals: Top 5 2013 NFL Draft Needs

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Top 5 Draft Needs for Arizona Cardinals

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After such a promising start in 2012, the Arizona Cardinals looked to be one of the NFL's underdog contenders. They began the season 4-0 and their defense was second to none. However, that was about all they could give, as they won just one more game and finished the season 5-11.

Quarterback issues plagued them all season long and they failed to put together a solid offensive game. Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer all got their shot as the Cardinals' play-caller last season so they brought in Carson Palmer to give the position a bit of stability.

Arizona will need to make many offensive upgrades in order to be as competitive as they were through the first quarter of the season last year.

Palmer is a huge upgrade at the quarterback position, but he's an aging one at that. He will lead a mediocre offense, but he will likely help Larry Fitzgerald come back from a very human season under his standards in 2012.

The offense was ranked toward the bottom of the league in both passing and rushing and with no experienced running back, they could be close to the league basement in rushing once again in 2013. They need to fill this hole in the 2013 NFL Draft, but the draft isn't that deep in talented running backs.

There are many positions to be filled in the desert this offseason, but with enough picks to fill those holes and a solid first-round pick position, the Cardinals will likely improve in 2013.

Here's a look at the top five draft needs for the Arizona Cardinals.

Connor Muldowney is a College Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Although the emergence of Patrick Peterson has the Cardinals extremely happy with one side of the defense, they cut William Gay about a month ago and they will need to add some depth to the cornerback position. They also signed Antoine Cason and have some very young cornerbacks, but another top defensive back wouldn't hurt too much.

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Offensive Tackle

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive tackle position may be the No. 1 priority of the Cardinals for the draft, but they have some solid contributors on paper already. The 2012 season was not kind to the Cardinals at this position as Levi Brown was lost due to torn triceps before the season even began, putting them behind before they could even blink an eye.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Although it looks as if Carson Palmer is going to solve the quarterback puzzle in the short term, they still may want to consider drafting a guy like Geno Smith or Matt Barkley in the first round if they want to build toward the future. Palmer is aging quickly, and it won't be long before they are looking to fill the spot that he leaves open.

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Running Back

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals ranked 32 out of 32 teams last year in rushing yards and could be in for the same type of season in 2013 without a solid running back chosen in the draft. There isn't too much depth in the upcoming draft, but there are still some solid mid-round running back possibilities for them to look at. I'm sorry, but LaRod Stephen-Howling is not cutting it.

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Tight End

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If Tyler Eifert can drop to the second round, the Cardinals would be crazy to pass him up considering their lack of depth and production returning to that position from a year ago. They will likely pick up a tight end such as Eifert or Zach Ertz in the first three rounds that will fill that need and help Palmer out in the pass and blocking game.