One need that the Cardinals have is in the pass rush, particularly from the OLB position. Looking at the CBS Sports Top 50 free agent list, There are not many 3-4 OLBs on the market, but we have seen players change positions and have success on their career.
So in the next few days, we will look at some 4-3 DEs, 4-3 OLBs and of course 3-4 OLBs to look and see whether we think that the Cardinals should target any of these players. The first is Jason Babin, a DE in Tennessee.
Babin is number 21 on the list after having a solid 2010 season in which he logged 12.5 sacks. As his position goes, he dropped back into coverage rarely -- only seven times.
Here is his scouting report:
Babin has good initial quickness as an edge rusher but hasn't expanded his pass-rush package enough in conjunction to his time in the league. He has enough athleticism to be an effective spot dropper in zone blitz schemes but is best attacking the line of scrimmage. His durability has been a concern, which has hindered his progress since early in his career. Babin has enough tools to develop but has never really found his niche with any of the three clubs he has been apart of. Babin does have value giving depth to the defensive line and as a special-teams player but needs to stay healthy to develop his talent.
Based on this description, he could play in a 3-4 scheme on the outside. We know he can get to the quarterback, as evidenced in his 2010 season. Granted he did find success last season, the description makes him look a lot like Calvin Pace, a guy who took off once he was moved to the OLB position.
Not having seen too much of Babin myself, I can only speculate based on scouting reports. But even still, it would seem that he could play the position that requires dropping into coverage.
Should he be targeted by the Arizona Cardinals? With the players already there, unless one or both of the veteran players at the position in Joey Porter and Clark Haggans are let go, Babin would not even be given a look.
But now the question is for you -- would you like to see Babin targeted by Arizona and converted into a 3-4 linebacker?