We are now two weeks into the free-agency period and the 2013 NFL Draft is only a month away.
Although Arizona has not had the greatest free agency so far, the moves it has made will have an effect on its draft strategy.
While several needs remain the same, others have opened up and some have been resolved.
A lot of what this team must do remains the same. Some of the moves made over the past couple of weeks, however, will have an impact on the players they target.
Highlighted over the following slides is a fresh seven-round mock draft for the Arizona Cardinals.
By releasing both Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes this offseason, the Cardinals have created a big need at the safety position.
They re-signed Rashad Johnson to a three-year deal and brought Yeremiah Bell in for one year, but there is no depth behind them.
This is where Kenny Vaccaro comes into play.
A standout safety at Texas, Vaccaro has shot up many draft boards as of late. A few months ago Arizona may have been able to trade down and still land him, but unless it only moves down a few spots, this is no longer an option.
A lot of people went into panic mode when Wilson and Rhodes were released. At the time it looked like the Cardinals had blown up their secondary.
By re-signing Rashad Johnson, they are back on the right track. By adding Vaccaro, this team is ensuring that they will have a solid, young and inexpensive safety tandem.
Adam Snyder cannot be the starting right guard for the Cardinals in 2013. They have yet to speak with Jake Scott, so addressing the guard position is a must in the draft.
Many people are probably wondering why Chance Warmack was not the pick at No. 7. That is understandable; the guy will be a stud.
There are still a couple of other options at guard on Day 2, however. By landing Vaccaro in the first and Larry Warford in the second, Arizona now has two new Week 1 starters.
Warford will start right away for this team and is another guard prospect with Pro Bowl potential.
Several talented players will be available in round two this year. It will be interesting to see if Arizona considers trading down from the first round or up from the third to land multiple top prospects.
Of the four quarterbacks that Arizona has on its roster, they have started in a combined 26 games in their respective careers.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding how weak this year’s quarterback class is, but taking a flyer on someone in the middle rounds is not a bad idea.
If that is the route they choose to take, then Tyler Wilson is their man. The Arkansas Razorback signal-caller has been up and down draft boards over the past few months.
At one point he was being considered as a first-round pick, but is now projected to go early in the third round.
Wilson has the potential to be a starter in this league. The Cardinals can feel much better about their quarterback situation with him at the helm as opposed to Drew Stanton and Brian Hoyer.
If this is the case, then Steve Keim should consider moving up a few spots to grab him.
Thomas has been projected to go in either the third or fourth round by most. Landing him with their fourth-round pick would be a big steal for the Cardinals.
They just lost Quentin Groves in free agency and are in need of depth behind Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield.
There are other pass-rushing options projected to be taken on day three, but Chase Thomas is by far the best one.
The Stanford product has starter’s potential and could be a key role player for Arizona early in his career.
I am shocked that more people have not been talking about Jawan Jamison as he could wind up being the steal of the entire 2013 draft.
It is almost scary how similar Jamison is to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. They share many of the same qualities in both the run and pass game.
In addition to the strength, quickness and awareness that he possesses, he also has the type of mentality that you want from a football player.
This kid has no quit in him. He keeps his head up and his feet moving, constantly making something out of nothing behind a mediocre offensive line.
Having Rashard Mendenhall under contract for a year will allow Ryan Williams to get healthy and Jawan Jamison to get accustomed to life in the NFL.
A healthy Williams and an experienced Jamison could make for one scary running back duo in the desert.
Bruce Arians passing on a tight end is something that I do not envision in this draft. As the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator last year, he brought in both Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.
Arizona already has Rob Housler and Jeff King, but you can be sure that Coach Arians wants to add another body at the position.
His history leads me to believe that a Tyler Eifert or a Zach Ertz could be on the Cardinals radar this April.
Although it would be nice to have one of those players, there is too much other talent to pass up on day two of the draft.
The best late-round option at tight end for Arizona is Jake Stoneburner. By no means is he starting material, but he is a player that will contribute.
He is raw and was not given many opportunities at Ohio State, but has enough talent to develop into a solid No. 2 tight end.
With their final pick in the draft, the Cardinals should add another safety in Jordan Kovacs out of Michigan.
The Captain of the Wolverine defense, this man is a very smart and talented player. With Yeremiah Bell signed to a one-year deal, Kovacs would be able to pick his brain.
Taking notes from Bell may not be the same as learning under Adrian Wilson, but he has been around the league for a while and could help the rookie out a lot.
Kovacs would provide Arizona with depth in the secondary that it currently does not have. With him, Vaccaro and Rashad Johnson, the Cardinals will not have to worry about bringing in stopgap players like Bell every year.