2010 NFL Draft: What the Arizona Cardinals Need

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2010 NFL Draft: What the Arizona Cardinals Need
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It's hard to address concerns over a team who is coming off its second consecutive playoff berth, but anytime a starting quarterback calls it quits, concerns will arise. 

Kurt Warner is out and Matt Leinart is in, or so it seems. Leinart is getting his perennial "second chance" with the future hall-of-famer exiting for post-career bliss. Leinart struggled his rookie year and hasn't really had a chance to exonerate himself since.

When the Cardinals faced the Titans in Week 12, it looked as if the backup quarterback was on the road to redemption, only to watch his old college nemesis Vince Young drive his offense 99 yards late in the fourth quarter for the win.

The Cardinals have a lot of questions concerning their roster to consider. 17 players are slated for free agency and it will be impossible to fill every hole in the draft and the tightfisted-ownership in Arizona probably won't be making any big purchases over the offseason. 

 

Offense

Biggest Needs: OL, TE

Arizona's running attack exploded late in the season, thanks in large part to the development of Chris "Beanie" Wells and an offensive line that finally clicked. However, as injuries are a common component of the NFL, expect the Cardinals to look for depth in the offseason as well as a replacement for the possibly-departing Jeremy Bridges. 

Without a decent first-round pick in the draft, it will be difficult for Arizona to address their more serious needs with pizazz, but if they're lucky, Iowa's Bryan Bulaga or Ciron Black out of LSU will still be available and could step in as the new left tackle immediately.

The Cardinals' starting offensive guards and center are also questionable but not enough to be nit-picky about it in the draft. Rather, I expect them to target a trusted veteran like Stephen Neal out of New England and, if they're really feeling generous, maybe even Green Bay's Chad Clifton.

Anthony Becht may or may not leave as a free agent but, either way, the Cardinals need to look for a number two tight end to provide another safety valve for Matt Leinart. This year's class isn't chock full of talent, but there are some standouts. Oregon's Ed Dickson and Illinois' Micheal Hoomanawanui could provide an impact.

 

For the rest of the Arizona Cardinals' team needs, go here.

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