NFC West: Jim Thornton
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Cardinals could use a tight end versatile enough to stay on the field across running and passing situations. They settled on Stephen Spach as a blocking tight end last season.
Spach made an important catch against the Falcons in the wild-card playoff round, but he isn't a consistent downfield threat in the passing game -- particularly after suffering a torn knee ligament against the Panthers.
As much as the Cardinals could use a frontline tight end, I'm not sure they can afford to draft one early enough to find such a player. I see them targeting running back and outside linebacker in the first two rounds if the draft falls their way. If the Cardinals do wind up trading Anquan Boldin to Baltimore, perhaps they can get the Ravens to throw in Todd Heap. A thought.
Cardinals general manager Rod Graves' teams generally haven't drafted tight ends early, anyway, and never higher than 72nd overall since Graves joined the Cardinals.
I spoke with Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. for additional perspective on the Cardinals' options at tight end in this draft. A few of his thoughts: