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Arizona Cardinals Round One Draft Options

The Arizona Cardinals have the 20th pick in the 2014 NFL draft. They are coming off of a season in which they had a 10-6 record and barely missed the playoffs. The team was powered by a defense that included a bunch of playmakers such as Patrick Peterson, Daryl Washington, Calais Campbell, Tyrann Mathieu and Karlos Dansby. Dansby moved on to the Cleveland Browns and that created a void at one of their inside linebacker spots. Their offensive line could use some help and will benefit from the free agent signing of Jered Veldheer along with the return from injury by Jonathan Cooper. Let’s take a look at some of the Arizona Cardinals round one draft options.

Alabama LB C.J. Mosely

As mentioned, Karlos Dansby has moved on via free agency. One way to replace him is to go with Mosely, a player that is ready and able to contribute right away. He is a downhill linebacker that will be strong against the run. The Cardinals defense was one of the top run stopping units last year. Mosely is athletic and will form a good sideline to sideline patrolling defense when he is teamed with Daryl Washington. Another plus with Mosely is that he comes out of a physical, pro style program in Alabama and played against elite talent in the SEC. Things will be no different in the NFC West which is now looked upon as the best and most physical division in the NFL.

Watch CJ Mosely vs Auburn 2013

Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford

The Seattle Seahawks showed that you can never have too many pass rushers. Dee Ford is a disruptive player that will be an immediate contributor in passing situations. He doesn’t have to be a starter right away but he will help the Cardinals in situational football just like fellow former Auburn pass rusher, Corey Lemonier helped the San Francisco 49ers last year. Ford can get an immediate jump on the ball and bends his body perfectly to get a tremendous pass rush from the edge. His outside pass rushing ability would work well to funnel the quarterback back inside to defensive tackle, Darnell Dockett. Add in the fact that Calais Campbell is still a force on the opposite side and you have the formula for a very good rookie season by Ford.

Watch Dee Ford 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl

Notre Dame OL Zach Martin

One of the problems for the Arizona offense last year was giving up pressure on Carson Palmer. Palmer is very susceptible to turning the ball over when he is throwing from a dirty pocket. He forces the ball and rushes throws which often times lead to interceptions. Martin is solid at every position on the offensive line. Adding him to the offensive line will make the unit a strength. He would be likely to play guard opposite of Cooper or right tackle. Martin is another plug and play option that will help against the NFC West pass rushers which include Aldon Smith, Robert Quinn, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and others.

Watch Zach Martin vs Stanford 2013

Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan

Timmy Jernigan is very similar to Dockett as far as body type is concerned. He is strong player that holds the point of attack at the line of scrimmage. He can play up and down the defensive line which will help with the rotation. He is able to get to the football and is a solid all around defensive tackle. He isn’t the best pass rusher but does shed blocks and pursue the football. His hands are very violent at the initial engage point which will allow him to be a better inside one shade defender. Jernigan will be an eventual replacement for Dockett down the line.

Watch Timmy Jernigan vs Auburn 2013

Louisville Safety Calvin Pryor

Calvin Pryor is very similar to Dashon Goldson, a safety that once terrorized the Cardinals. Many Cardinals fans can remember how he used to blow up Beenie Wells, forcing him to fumble the ball. Pryor brings the same tenacity to the position. He is a tone setter right from the start. In addition to that, Pryor can play as a rangy center field type of safety in single high coverage. Yeremiah Bell is gone and Pryor is capable of starting early on in his rookie season. The way that Pryor plays would certainly be a strong addition to the already physical defense that the Cardinals have.

Watch Calvin Pryor vs UCF

Other options: Jace Amaro, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Xavier Sua-Filo, Rashad Hageman, Louis Nix, Bradley Roby

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Follow Turron Davenport: @TDavenport_BSN




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