Thursday, February 7, 2013
Kiper mock 2.0: Cardinals thoughts
By Mike Sando
Mel Kiper Jr. is back with his second 2013 NFL mock draft for the first round.
We're running through the projected picks for NFC West teams in reverse order. Arizona is last up. The Cardinals hold the seventh overall choice, the second time in three seasons they've picked in the top seven.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan
Kiper's give: This is one of the spots where you could see a QB come off the board, but at this stage a QB taken at No. 7 would be a significant reach. Until we see major strides by one of the QB options, Arizona is better off adding a key piece it can start right away and looking for a QB in Round 2, or trading up into the late first. And remember, the Cardinals may have moved on a QB in free agency or via a trade by April. Fisher isn't a big name, but he's as a good as any tackle in this class outside of Joeckel. Arizona was a train wreck at tackle for much of 2012, and even with some young guys on the roster, they need to consider a better option if available.
Sando's take: The Cardinals have said they're going to put greater emphasis on the offensive line. Drafting an offensive lineman seventh overall would back up the talk. Levi Brown, chosen fifth overall in 2007, was the last offensive lineman Arizona selected higher than 112th overall. The Cardinals liked what they saw from rookie tackles Nate Potter and Bobby Massie late in the season. Kiper allows for that, but he's correct in saying there's plenty of room for improvement. It's not like Potter and Massey were becoming dominant forces on the offensive line. Brown, Potter and Massey are the only viable tackles on the roster. D'Anthony Batiste is the only other tackle. Drafting a quarterback this early has appeal in theory, but will any of the prospects impress the Cardinals enough for first-year head coach Bruce Arians to place what would be a relatively big early bet?