3 Main Options That Will Improve the Arizona Cardinals Offensive Line

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3 Main Options That Will Improve the Arizona Cardinals Offensive Line
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It seems like Arizona fans and writers alike have been complaining about the Cardinals offensive line for years. Rightfully so; their line has statistically been one of the worst in the game.

Every year a new set of players become available. Whether it is through the draft or free agency, this team has had options when it comes to improving up front.

They have neglected to do so, though. Their failure to address the offensive line has resulted in several mediocre seasons.

With new management heading into the 2013 offseason, one can only hope that Arizona will address an issue that it has been facing for years.

The Cardinals have plenty of options over the next couple of months. There are some big-name free agents available and some of the best offensive line prospects in recent memory are in this draft class.

Here are the three main options that the Arizona Cardinals have to improve their offensive line in 2013 and beyond.

 

Draft Heavy

There are so many options this year in terms of offensive linemen that the Cardinals do not even need the No. 7 overall pick to land a great player.

Luke Joeckel and Chance Warmack are arguably the two best players in the draft and Eric Fisher is not too far behind them.

Once you get near the end of the first round, names such as Jonathan Cooper, Barrett Jones, Lane Johnson and Larry Warford start to surface.

The Cardinals do not have much salary cap space and they could look solely to the draft to improve its offensive line.

In this case they would take lineman in the first round and then again in the second or third. The depth chart would end up looking something like this:

LT

LG

C

RG

RT

Joeckel/Fisher

Daryn Colledge

Lyle Sendlein

Cooper/Warford

Bobby Massie

Nate Potter

 

 

 

Levi Brown



                                                           OR

    

LT

LG

C

RG

RT

Levi Brown

Daryn Colledge

Jones

Warmack

Bobby Massie

Nate Potter

 

Lyle Sendlein

 

 


The Cardinals are landing a stud offensive lineman in both scenarios. You could mix and match players a little bit, but the consensus here is that they will either be landing Warmack or a franchise left tackle.

Using their first two picks up front would allow them to get rid of Brown and/or Sendlein. These players have base salaries of $4.75 million and $2.4 million, respectively.

 

Split

With several other needs to address, spending two early picks on the offensive line may not be in the Cardinals plans.

If this is the case, you can still expect them to use at least one of their first three draft picks up front. They may, however, also look to free agency to beef up the line as well.

Jake Long, Ryan Clady, Jermon Bushrod, Branden Albert and Sebastian Vollmer—these five players will likely demand huge contracts. This leaves less money for the second tier of tackles such as Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt.

Arizona may be able to land someone of that caliber at a cheaper rate than they would have in other years. There is also a cost-effective signing at guard.

Jake Scott would be an immediate upgrade over Adam Snyder. He signed with the Eagles for $825,000 during the middle of the 2012 season. Any type of contract similar to that would be a steal for the Cards.

In this scenario, you are spending a first OR second-round pick up front. You are then adding a player through free agency.

The line would look something like this:

LT

LG

C

RG

RT

Joeckel/Fisher

Daryn Colledge

Lyle Sendlein

Jake Scott

Bobby Massie

Nate Potter

 

 

 

Levi Brown


                                                            OR

 

LT

LG

C

RG

RT

Free Agent

Daryn Colledge

Lyle Sendlein

Warmack

Bobby Massie

Nate Potter

 

 

 

Levi Brown


By signing a free agent, Arizona only has to use one draft pick to drastically improve its offensive line.

In this scenario the Cards have upgraded two spots on the line and still have a second-round pick to work with.

 

Minor Changes

There has been a lot of talk about taking an offensive lineman at No. 7 overall. In fact, almost every mock draft out there has Arizona taking a tackle or Chance Warmack.

Maybe the front office does not want to do that, though. Bruce Arians may have a quarterback in mind or Todd Bowles may want to add another defensive weapon.

How many draft picks should Arizona spend on its offensive line?

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In this scenario, the Cardinals are either adding a player via free agency or drafting just one player early on.

They could still be taking a lineman in the first round, but they would not be adding another key player elsewhere.

If the player brought in is a tackle, then moving Levi Brown to guard is certainly an option. Here is what the line may look like:

LT

LG

C

RG

RT

Joeckel/Fisher/Free Agent

Daryn Colledge

Lyle Sendlein

Levi Brown

Bobby Massie

 

 

 

 

Nate Potter


OR

 

LT

LG

C

RG

RT

Levi Brown

Daryn Colledge

Lyle Sendlein

Warmack/Scott

Bobby Massie

Nate Potter

 

 

 

 



OR

LT

LG

C

RG

RT

Nate Potter

Daryn Colledge

Barrett Jones

Levi Brown

Bobby Massie

 

 

Lyle Sendlein

 

 


The final option would be to keep the offensive line the same. This would not be the worst thing in the world. Levi Brown could move to right guard and the line would be better than last year.

With so many options in free agency and the draft, though, this should not be an option for Arizona.

Look for at least one upgrade to be made to the offensive line this offseason.

Do you agree with one of the three main options or is your idea not listed in the article? I would love to hear what you have to say. What is your ideal offensive line for the Arizona Cardinals?

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