Wednesday, January 18, 2012
2012 Kiper mock 1.0: Cardinals thoughts
By Mike Sando
Mel Kiper's first mock draft for 2012 provides the foundation for discussing how NFC West teams might proceed this offseason.
I'll continue with a look at Kiper's plans for the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the 13th choice.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Kiper's give: The Cardinals need to mend the offensive line -- they haven't drafted an offensive lineman before the fifth round since 2007 -- and Martin is an athletic, powerful left tackle who can help upgrade this unit immediately.
Sando's take: Left tackle Levi Brown could return at a reduced rate, but the Cardinals still need young depth on their offensive line. They have had the oldest backup offensive linemen in the league recently. That has advantages; experienced players such as Jeremy Bridges and Deuce Lutui can come off the bench without compromising the line in any way. Coaches don't have to sweat over developing young players, which takes a significant time commitment. The trade-off, however, is that the line has very little potential to grow into anything better than it is right now. Using a first-round pick for a tackle would make sense for the Cardinals. I would also endorse using the choice for pass-rush help.