NFL Arizona Cardinals

2014 NFL Draft: Ranking the Arizona Cardinals’ Top 5 Needs

NFL Draft: Top 5 Needs for the Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals Logo
Getty Images

At 10-6, the Arizona Cardinals were one of the most surprising teams in the NFL last season. The Cardinals have a great core of young players to build around, who could make this team a consistent contender. That being said, they have some holes on their roster that must be filled. If the Cardinals are going to keep pace in their loaded division, they must draft well. Here are the five biggest needs for Arizona heading into the 2014 NFL Draft.

5. Tight End

Austin Seferian-Jenkins NFL Draft
Getty Images

5. Tight End

Austin Seferian-Jenkins NFL Draft
Getty Images

TE Robert Housler was drafted by the Cardinals in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft. While Housler shows great athletic ability, he has yet to prove anything on the field. The Cardinals have obvious room for upgrade at the TE position. I would be surprised to see them take one with their first-round pick (20th overall), but if Austin Seferian-Jenkins falls to their second-round pick, I could see them scooping him up.

4. Running Back

Jeremy Hill NFL Draft
Getty Images

4. Running Back

Jeremy Hill NFL Draft
Getty Images

Arizona seems perfectly ready to roll with Andre Ellington as their featured back this season. Ellington was great in 2013, but he is a smaller back who will need somebody to split carries with. The 2014 RB class is very deep, and the Cardinals should be able to land a solid change-of-pace back almost anywhere in the draft. Countering Ellington with a power back like Jeremy Hill would make a ton of sense for the Cardinals.

3. Quarterback

Derek Carr NFL Draft
Getty Images

3. Quarterback

Derek Carr NFL Draft
Getty Images

Carson Palmer has given the Cardinals some nice stability at the quarterback position. That being said, at 34-years-old, Palmer's better days are far behind him. I could see a scenario where Fresno State QB Derek Carr falls to the Cardinals at the 20th pick, and they would have to seriously consider taking him. It is probably more likely that they take a raw prospect like Zach Mettenberger or Logan Thomas later, who can then sit under Palmer.

2. Pass Rush Specialist

Kony Ealy NFL Draft
Getty Images

2. Pass Rush Specialist

Kony Ealy NFL Draft
Getty Images

The Cardinals' defense was great in 2013, and John Abraham's 11.5 sacks were a huge reason why. As great as Abraham was, he is aging fast and the Cardinals lack other solid pass rushing options. I think there is a strong chance that the Cardinals address their 3-4 OLB position in the first round with guys like Kony Ealy, Anthony Barr, Dee Ford and Kyle Van Noy as possible targets.

1. Offensive Tackle

Taylor Lewan NFL Draft
Getty Images

1. Offensive Tackle

Taylor Lewan NFL Draft
Getty Images

While they were better last season, the Cardinals' offensive line still needs some work. Both tackle positions are probably the biggest need for them. Tackle is top-heavy this year, and it is unlikely that one of the top guys falls to them. Taylor Lewan falling to No. 20 would be a dream scenario, but that is unlikely. Morgan Moses and Antonio Richardson are offensive tackles who would make sense for Arizona in the middle rounds.