By Jack Delaney on April 19, 2014
The Arizona Cardinals are in one of the toughest divisions in the entire NFL, and the organization needs to make every pick count in this draft. With the 20th overall selection, however, the Cardinals cannot immediately control their destiny. As players fall off the board, plans will need to be adjusted on the fly.
Here are five dark horse first-round targets for the Arizona Cardinals.
All of the experts and fans want to see a defensive player or an offensive tackle selected as the first-round pick for the Cardinals. The issue is that there is a lack of must-have offensive players in this years' draft, so the positions that Arizona needs to fill are being highly targeted. If tight ends quickly fall of the board, 6-foot-6, 262-pound Austin Seferian-Jenkins could become the Cardinals' first pick.
Having the 20th-overall pick means that the Cardinals have to do some waiting and some quick evaluations. While Andre Ellington is Bruce Arians' guy, the organization may look to compliment him with a bigger back. At 6-foot, 230 pounds, Carlos Hyde would be a great addition to this team. Hyde rushed for 1,521 yards in 2013 and scored 15 rushing touchdowns. Depending on what happens at the beginning of the draft, the Cardinals could pick a RB.
Derek Carr has a decent chance of playing for the Arizona Cardinals in 2014. 34-year old quarterback Carson Palmer only has a few years left in the league, and while the team has the chance to make a Super Bowl run now, they will need to focus on building for the future. If Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles are off the board, the Cardinals may take a shot on Carr.
Bruce Arians said he wants a blocking tight end, but he may settle for a playmaker in Jace Amaro. Amaro was more relied on in college for being an offensive weapon with 1,352 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't fit into Arian's plans. Arians likes having two tight ends to design plays for, and Amaro would be a great addition to the offense.
C.J. Mosley and Yawin Smallwood could become the first inside linebackers selected in the draft, but Shayne Skov would still be a solid first pick for Arizona. With 109 tackles, 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2013, Skov would help to contain the offenses of the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.
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