2014 NFL Draft: Updating the Arizona Cardinals’ 5 Biggest Needs

2014 NFL Draft: Updating the Arizona Cardinals' 5 Biggest Needs

Arizona Cardinals 2014 NFL Draft Needs
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The Arizona Cardinals have been big players in this free agency period. After losing Andre Roberts, Karlos Dansby and Rashard Mendenhall, the Cardinals signed Jared Veldheer, Antonio Cromartie and Ted Ginn Jr. to help push the Cardinals past the 49ers and Seahawks in the NFC West.

While these transactions have been good, the Cards still have plenty of work to do. Here now are my top five needs for Arizona right now.

5. Safety

Tony Jefferson Cardinals
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5. Safety

Tony Jefferson Cardinals
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Tony Jefferson is expected to be a first-year starter this season, but he was a low-round draft pick for a reason. I hope i'm wrong about Jefferson, but with some good safeties like Jimmie Ward, Deone Bucannon and Ahmad Dixon available, it would be too tempting to pass up any of these safeties in rounds one through three.

4. Quarterback

Carson Palmer Cardinals
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4. Quarterback

Carson Palmer Cardinals
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Carson Palmer was solid in his first year for the Cardinals, but a quarterback for the future needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Palmer still has his limitations after 10-plus seasons in the league. Should one of the top three quarterbacks (Bridgewater, Bortles or Manziel) slide to 20, the Cardinals would be hard-pressed to pass on any of them.

3. Running Back

Andre Ellington Cardinals
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3. Running Back

Andre Ellington Cardinals
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After Rashard Mendenhall unexpectedly retired this past offseason, Andre Ellington is now the only established running back on the Cardinals' roster. With former second-round pick Ryan Williams unable to stay healthy and Jonathan Dwyer still an unknown commodity, another running back would help. Big backs like Jeremy Hill or Carlos Hyde would be great additions for Arizona.

2. Tight End

Rob Housler Cardinals
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2. Tight End

Rob Housler Cardinals
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Ever since Jackie Smith suited up for the Cardinals back in St. Louis, the Cardinals have not had a truly elite tight end. Should a player like Eric Ebron somehow fall all the way down to 20, which is certainly possible, I would select him and forget about the inconsistent Rob Housler and journeyman free agent John Carlson.

A premier tight end certainly would help the Cardinals' offense down the road in the ever-tough NFC West.

1. Outside Linebacker

John Abraham Cardinals
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1. Outside Linebacker

John Abraham Cardinals
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Outside of John Abraham, the Cardinals don't have a pass rusher on the outside who can strike fear into opposing offense. Abraham, who had a great season last year, has his days in the NFL numbered. The Cardinals most certainly have to find an edge rusher in the early rounds.

Players like Kony Ealy, Anthony Barr (should he slide) or Jeremiah Attaochu would be instant upgrades for Arizona's elite defense.


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