Arizona Aims to Fortify its Interior Line

The Cardinals have significant holes to fill this offseason and the offensive line is an area that needs to be addressed. Finding a prospect with toughness and dedication will be a major priority for GM Rod Graves. The Cardinals appear to have their sights set on one of the most durable and reliable offensive linemen in this year's draft.

One of the top guard prospects in this year's draft is former Oregon State offensive lineman Roy Schuening. Schuening was a four-year starter for the Beavers and started a school record 50 consecutive games. He was an All Pac-10 performer in each of his four seasons and helped running back Yvenson Bernard finish his college career with 3,862 yards rushing, sixth most in Pac-10 history.

Schuening (6'4", 318 pounds) is extremely versatile, tough and dedicated -- he once played through walking pneumonia. He is projected to play guard in the NFL, but demonstrated his versatility by spending much of his senior season at tackle. Schuening has a solid work ethic and excellent awareness in the trenches.

Although he lacks ideal explosiveness and lateral quickness, he possesses sound footwork and technique. He shows adequate range for his size and displays the ability to pull-block effectively. His size, strength and determination allow him to wear down opponents over the course of a game.

Schuening's future employer will acquire one of the most durable and reliable players in the draft. After red-shirting in 2003, he was in the starting lineup for every game from 2004-2007. The Cardinals fell victim to a number of injuries last year and could benefit from a dependable player of Schuening's ilk.

Schuening is hopeful teams will think highly of his reliability and his willingness to sacrifice anything for the team.

"I'm a hard-working, tough-nosed player who will do whatever I can to help the team win," he said.

After concluding his college career, Schuening was invited to participate in the 2008 Senior Bowl. He welcomed the opportunity to compete against the best players in the country and felt he showed steady improvement throughout the week.

"It's been a great experience going against the top talent in the nation," he said from Mobile, Ala. "I did well at certain things and got better at other things."

While there are other glaring needs on the Cardinals roster, most notably cornerback and running back, coach Ken Whisenhunt won't underestimate the importance of depth along the offensive line. Schuening would be an ideal fit in Arizona due to his durability and versatility. If he is available early on the second day of the draft, he'll draw strong consideration from the Cardinals front office.


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