Sizing up Cardinals pre-draft needs

Posted: April 14

By Adam Caplan

The Cardinals will have to turn to the draft to replenish their roster after taking some hits from free agency and retirement.

Players added

Derek Anderson, QB – Anderson has valuable starting experience. If Matt Leinart struggles, Anderson will get a chance to push for playing time.

Rex Hadnot, OL – He’s capable of challenging for a starting job at center or guard.

Jay Feely, K – He’ll replace Neil Rackers.

Paris Lenon, LB – He’ll compete for the vacancy that was left when Kalos Dansby signed with the Dolphins.

Joey Porter, LB – It will be interesting to see how many snaps he plays in each game. He probably would be best used in a situational role, but the Cardinals don’t appear to have anyone else who could start as of now.

Kerry Rhodes, FS – Rhodes will replace Antrel Rolle. Rhodes may be in a better scheme for his talents than he was in with the Jets.

Trumaine McBride, CB – He figures to challenge for a job in a dime role.

Herana-Daze Jones, S – He’ll see most of his playing time on special teams — if he winds up making the team.

Players Lost

Kurt Warner, QB – His retirement promotes Leinart to starting quarterback.

Brian St. Pierre, QB – There have been reports that he will re-sign with the team. If he does, he would handle the No. 3 role.

Bryan Robinson, DT – The veteran defensive lineman’s versatility should help him land a job in early August.

Justin Green, FB – He actually hasn’t played since the 2007 season.

Dan Kreider, FB – The veteran fullback figures to find a job by the start of training camps. The Cardinals don’t appear to have a viable replacement for him.

Anquan Boldin, WR – Steve Breaston will replace him in the starting lineup.

Jerheme Urban, WR – He found a new home with the Kansas City Chiefs. Urban’s role got severely reduced late last season after Early Doucet started to get more playing time.

Sean Morey, WR – The special teams ace found a new home with the Seattle Seahawks.

Mike Gandy, OT – Levi Brown is expected to move into his starting spot.

Neil Rackers, K – He’ll compete for a job with the Houston Texans. Feely will replace him with the Cardinals.

Karlos Dansby, LB – Dansby chose to sign for big money with the Miami Dolphins. The Cardinals don’t have any viable replacements on the roster for his role.

Bertrand Berry, LB – He decided to retire.

Chike Okeafor, LB – He fits in with a team that runs a 3-4 defensive scheme.

Ralph Brown, CB – The veteran defensive back should find a dime role with a team closer to the start of training camps.

Antrel Rolle, S – They’ll replace him with Rhodes.

Pre-Draft needs

Right Tackle – Levi Brown is expected to move to LT this season, leaving the right tackle job open.

Inside Linebacker – With Dansby moving on, the team must replace him in this draft.

Cornerback – The Cardinals badly need a veteran nickel back. So many teams will use three-receiver sets, so it’s essential to have three good cornerbacks. It remains to be seen if second-year CB Greg Toler is ready for the role. He only played in six percent of the defensive snaps last season.

Other issues to address

Outside Linebacker depth

Wide Receiver depth

Left Tackle depth