2010 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals' First Round Fixes

Kevin HatfieldCorrespondent IApril 5, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 16:  Matt Leinart #7 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals talk on the field against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 45-14. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Major Offseason Additions

Arizona signed veteran DE/OLB Joey Porter to a three-year contract on March 19. Porter had most of his glory years in Pittsburgh with Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, so Porter may have a couple good seasons in him. Porter will also thrive as a leader in the locker room.


Then, Arizona stole safety Kerry Rhodes away from the New York Jets. Rhodes was traded for a fourth and seventh round pick. Rhodes had a lot of success in New York, and he was even chosen as an All-Pro in 2006. Rhodes should fill in nicely for the departed Antrel Rolle, and he will cost the Cardinals much less.

One of the main concerns for the Cardinals this season will be at quarterback. Kurt Warner was one of the most dependable players in the league, and his loss is going to greatly affect the Cardinals.

However, Arizona brought in struggling quarterback Derek Anderson. At first this may seem like a questionable move, but Anderson may look different with good weapons and an excellent offensive line. Anderson will contend more for the starting job than people think.  


Major Offseason Losses

Despite all of the positives for Arizona, there have been many negatives too. First off, Arizona lost long time quarterback Kurt Warner to retirement. This will hurt them on and off the field a lot.

Arizona then lost one of the best receivers in the league—Anquan Boldin. Boldin will now be dressing in the purple and black in Baltimore. This will put a lot of pressure on Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston. They will be the go-to guys, and they may have to bail out Matt Leinart or Derek Anderson at times.

Next, Arizona lost one of the best true outside linebackers in the league in Karlos Dansby. Dansby was a tackling machine in Arizona, but he was never happy making his living as a franchise tagged player. The Cardinals will need to fill in that much needed hole now.


Finally Arizona lost Pro-Bowl safety Antrel Rolle. This would be a much bigger loss if they were not able to pick up Kerry Rhodes so easily from the Jets. However, Rolle was very adapted to Cardinals’ defense, and it will take some times for Rhodes to become fully accustomed.

Arizona also lost defensive end, Chike Okeafor; offensive tackle, Mike Gandy; kicker, Neil Rackers; and defensive tackle, Bryan Robinson.



Needs Addressing in the Draft

Offensive Tackle  

Arizona decided not to sign long time tackle Mike Gandy. Gandy practically became a liability towards the end of the season, giving up multiple sacks and committing many penalties. Backup Jeremy Bridges played well, but he may not be a long term solution.

Defensive Line 

Arizona could use help either in the inside at nose tackle, or at the hybrid defensive end position. Scouts still are not sold on Gabe Watson being a long term nose tackle, and Clark Haggans is not getting any younger on the outside.

Tight End

The Cardinals have gone far too long without a consistent tight end. This year veteran Anthony Becht appears to be the starter, with Ben Patrick backing him up. Neither are weapons in the passing game, and both are just average blockers.

Five First Round Possibilities

Anthony Davis: OT, Rutgers

Arizona has taken on problem players before—Allan Branch, Anquan Boldin, and Calais Campbell. Davis would become a franchise left tackle.

Bruce Campbell: OT, Maryland

Campbell had a huge scouting combine. He "wowed" everyone with his amazing athleticism and strength. Campbell would be a project, but he has more upside than almost anyone in the draft. 

Charles Brown: OT, USC

Brown was an extremely hard worker at USC, and despite not being the most gifted athlete, he makes up for it with hard work. 

Jermaine Gresham: TE, Oklahoma

Arizona has been lacking a big threat tight end for a number of years. Gresham would answer that need immediately. He is still a suspect blocker, but with coaching from Russ Grimm, this could easily be fixed.

Dan Williams: NT, Tennessee

Gabe Watson is only OK as an NFL starter. Williams could play immediately, but he would probably split time with Watson at first. Williams is a potential Pro-Bowler down the road.  


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