The Cardinals' Three Hidden Draft Needs

The draft clock is winding down, and the Cardinals are focused on getting players that fit into their image. No longer perennial doormats, the Cardinals have proven they belong with other elite clubs. If they are going to continue basking in their newfound relevancy they need to produce a quality draft. Here are a three hidden weaknesses that need to be corrected.

Defensive Line:

The Cardinals defensive line dominated for the majority of last season's playoffs. Darnell Dockett is Pro Bowler who can disrupt an offense almost single handedly. The rest of the squad, however, may not be enough to get the Cards through the season. Alan Branch has not lived up to his potential and the loss of Antonio Smith only further exacerbates the problem.

There are a few options that the Cardinals can take. With an extremely late first round pick, the chances of getting an impact player for 2009 are slim. The one potential savior could be Missouri tackle Ziggy Hood. He is projecting in the late first round and could be a steal for the Cardinals.

The other route the Cardinals could take would be to gamble on a player with upside later in the draft. A few sleeper candidates would be Mitch King from Iowa or Paul Krueger out of Utah. While drafting later picks may cause the defense to struggle while they develop, it could also lead to better production at a smaller price tag.

Wide Receiver:

It seems almost absurd to have this position on the list of Cardinals weaknesses, but with the trade talks swirling around Anquan Boldin it starts to make more sense. If Boldin is traded will Steve Breaston be able to assume the number two spot? Can Early Doucet step up and contribute? These are very big questions that will need to be answered if the Cardinals are going to repeat their success.

The Cardinals are known for their high-flying offense, but without Boldin it may be solely up to Fitzgerald to continue that trend. Regardless of Boldin's status, the Cardinals would be wise to draft a speedy receiver to help stretch the field. One player that could certainly provide that would be WR Johnny Knox. He would come relatively cheap (4th-5th round) and with the fastest 40 at the combine (4.25), his speed would be lethal.

If the Cardinals do trade Boldin, they would hopefully get another first round pick in return. If that is the case there is a potential they could replace Boldin with college star Michael Crabtree. That would be the ideal situation for compensating the loss of Boldin. Hopefully management and Boldin will come to their senses and the Cardinals potent offense will return in tact for the 2009-2010 season.


Kurt Warner is near collecting AARP benefits and although Matt Leinart made progress this year, he is one weekend away from keg parties and beer bongs. Does that mean Brian St. Pierre is the future? Hopefully that is not the plan. The Cardinals could go a long way to address the future of their franchise by drafting a potential replacement for Warner. Two seasons on the pine was the original plan for Leinart, but with Warner's two-year deal that could lead to quality preparation time for a new rookie quarterback.

With their late first round draft pick, the Cardinals could reach for a quarterback project like Josh Freeman (6'6 250lbs). Freeman has a disgustingly powerful arm and enough size to be a beast in the pocket. He will almost certainly be on the board at the 31st pick in the first round and could potentially fall deep into the 2nd round. The Cardinals need to make a firm decision on their quarterback future and stick with it. Warner won't be around forever and the Cardinals need to solidify their commitment to redefining their franchise.

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