Examining the Cardinals' less-discussed draft needs
May 2, 2014 at 12:26p ET
TEMPE, Ariz. -- When discussing the Cardinals' first-round pick (No. 20 overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft, most analysts fall into one of three camps. There are those who believe the Cardinals will select an edge rusher, those who believe it will be a strong safety and those who think the team will take its quarterback of the future.
Some of that will depend on how the 19 picks beforehand unfold, some of it will depend on what the Cardinals believe they can find in the later rounds, some will depend on which needs they feel they can fill in free agency this summer and some of it will depend on their confidence in their current personnel.
But what about the team's so-called lesser needs?
"I don't know that there is a position on this team that we are not going to look at," general manager Steve Keim said at a press conference on Thursday. "There are a few scenarios that we have talked about that we would consider moving up in the right circumstance, but for the most part, I think our philosophy would be to acquire more picks and move back. We do think it's deep enough where I really do think that you are going to get third-round players in the fourth and fifth round; guys who can come in and be immediate-impact players for you."
The more picks the Cardinals have, the more positions they can fill and the greater their chances to "hit on" a few picks, said Keim, who also expects the free-agent rookie class to be deeper with so many underclassmen declaring for the draft and swelling the ranks.
One intriguing position is wide receiver, as this year's draft is considered particularly deep at the position. The Cardinals' top two receivers -- Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd -- are set, but No. 3 receiver Andre Roberts was lost in free agency.
The Cards signed Ted Ginn Jr. to a three-year, $3.25 million deal in March to add speed and another element in the return game. Ginn caught 36 passes for 556 yards and five touchdowns for the Panthers last season. He also returned 25 kickoffs for an average of 23.8 yards and is expected to assume the kick return duties for Arizona, which used Javier Arenas last season with mostly subpar results.
But Ginn's place on the receiver depth chart is anything but secure due to consistency issues in the past, and Arians noted on Thursday the wide variety of receivers available in this year's draft.
"There are so many different, unique body types in this draft," Arians said. "You can find small, quick ones. You can find big, tall, fast ones for the first time in a few years. There's always been some big, tall guys that have run-after-the-catch ability also. It's a unique draft.
"Again, you would never pass up someone who could crack your roster and add depth for the future. This draft in the receiver class can do that for a lot of teams."
Arians has made it plain that he wants more speed at receiver, and the Cardinals have plenty of height, so maybe they will look at smaller, speed guys such as Wyoming's Robert Herron, Oregon's Josh Huff, Ohio State's Corey Brown and Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders in the middle to late rounds.
Aside from receiver, Keim also believes this year's draft is deep in offensive tackles. A few analysts have wondered if the Cardinals might spend a second straight first-round pick on the offensive line to select a right tackle, but they also have a pair of options on the roster.
"Bradley (Sowell) did a nice job on the left side last year. We'll see how he can transition to the right side," Keim said. "And then Bobby Massie is a guy that has all the physical tools, but we've talked about it over and over -- it's up to him. He's a guy that you hope develops. Only time will tell."
The Cardinals also could look at an inside linebacker. Both Keim and Arians insisted Thursday that the uncertainty surrounding Daryl Washington's potential league suspension for a domestic abuse charge would not affect their approach. Arians said the team likes its depth at that position, but that could be a smoke screen after Karlos Dansby left in free agency.
If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell does suspend Washington under the league's personal conduct policy -- and he has wide latitude in this area -- the Cardinals would start the season with unproven second-year linebacker Kevin Minter at one spot while possibly moving outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander inside for the short term. Kenny Demens and JoJo Dickson provide the only depth on the roster as of right now.
Arizona also could use more depth along the defensive line and possibly at cornerback, although starters Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie are set and reserves Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel, Tyrann Mathieu (injured) Bryan McCann would seem to add favorable depth.
"You can never have enough depth at that position," defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said, laughing. "I'd like to have 10 or 12 guys."
POSITIONAL DRAFT RANKINGS (VIA CBS SPORTS)
1.Sammy Watkins Clemson 6-1 211
2. Mike Evans Texas A&M 6-5 231
3. Odell Beckham Jr. LSU 5-11 198
4. Brandin Cooks Oregon State 5-10 189
5. Marqise Lee Southern California 6-0 192
6. Allen Robinson Penn State 6-3 220
7. Donte Moncrief Ole Miss 6-2 221
8. Jordan Matthews Vanderbilt 6-3 212
9. Cody Latimer Indiana 6-3 215
10. Martavis Bryant Clemson 6-4 211
11. Kelvin Benjamin Florida State 6-5 240
12. Davante Adams Fresno State 6-1 212
13. Bruce Ellington South Carolina 5-9 197
14. Paul Richardson Colorado 6-0 175
15. Jared Abbrederis Wisconsin 6-1 195
16. Dri Archer Kent State 5-8 173
17. Robert Herron Wyoming 5-9 193
18. Jarvis Landry LSU 6-0 205
19. Devin Street Pittsburgh 6-3 198
20. Kevin Norwood Alabama 6-2 198
1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama 6-2 234â¨
2. Chris Borland, Wisconsin 6-0 248â¨
3. Shayne Skov, Stanford 6-2 245
4. Christian Jones, Florida State 6-3 240
5. Preston Brown, Louisville 6-1 251
6. Max Bullough, Michigan State 6-4 249
7. Lamin Barrow, LSU 6-1 237
8. Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut 6-2 246
9. Avery Williamson, Kentucky 6-1 246
10. Brock Coyle, Montana, 6-1 235
11. Jeremiah George Iowa State 5-11 234
12. Andrew Jackson Western Kentucky 6-1 254
13. Devekeyan Lattimore South Florida 6-0 237
14. Glenn Carson Penn State 6-3 238
15. Steele Divitto Boston College 6-2 241
1. Greg Robinson Auburn 6-5 332
2. Jake Matthews Texas A&M 6-6 308
3. Taylor Lewan Michigan 6-7 309
4. Cyrus Kouandjio Alabama 6-7 322
5. Morgan Moses Virginia 6-6 314
6. JaWuan James Tennessee 6-6 311
7. Cameron Fleming Stanford 6-5 323
8. Billy Turner North Dakota State 6-5 315
9. Antonio Richardson Tennessee 6-6 334
10. Jack Mewhort Ohio State 6-6 309
11. Michael Schofield Michigan 6-7 301
12. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif McGill (Canada) 6-5 298
13. Justin Britt Missouri 6-6 325
14. Seantrel Henderson Miami (Fla.) 6-7 331
15. Matt Patchan Boston College 6-6 302
1. Justin Gilbert Oklahoma State 6-0 202
2. Darqueze Dennard Michigan State 5-11 199
3. Kyle Fuller Virginia Tech 6-0 190
4. Jason Verrett TCU 5-10 189
5. Bradley Roby Ohio State 5-11 194
6. Lamarcus Joyner Florida State 5-8 184
7. Phillip Gaines Rice 6-0 193
8. Keith McGill Utah 6-3 211
9. Pierre Desir Lindenwood 6-1 198
10. Stanley Jean-Baptiste Nebraska 6-3 218
11. Marcus Roberson Florida 6-0 191
12. Bashaud Breeland Clemson 5-11 197
13. Jaylen Watkins Florida 6-0 194
14. Rashaad Reynolds Oregon State 5-10 189
15. Walt Aikens Liberty 6-1 203
16. Nevin Lawson Utah State 5-10 190
17. Louchiez Purifoy Florida 6-0 190
18. Chris Davis Auburn 5-10 202
19. Jemea Thomas Georgia Tech 5-9 192
20. E.J. Gaines Missouri 5-10 190
1. Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina 6-5 266
2. Dee Ford Auburn 6-2 252
3. Kony Ealy Missouri 6-4 273
4. Demarcus Lawrence Boise State 6-3 251
5. Scott Crichton Oregon State 6-3 273
6. Marcus Smith Louisville 6-3 251
7. Kareem Martin North Carolina 6-6 272
8. Trent Murphy Stanford 6-5 250
9. Jackson Jeffcoat Texas 6-3 247
10 Will Clarke West Virginia 6-6 271
11. James Gayle Virginia Tech 6-4 259
12. Taylor Hart Oregon 6-6 281
13. Ethan Westbrooks West Texas A&M 6-4 267
14. Brent Urban Virginia 6-7 295
15. Josh Mauro Stanford 6-6 271