The Arizona Cardinals are still playoff contention, but that doesn't mean people haven't started looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft. In fact, ESPN's Todd McShay has released his first mock draft for the coming year.
According to McShay's projections, the Arizona Cardinals will select an offensive tackle to address what is still a position of concern. He has them, with the 25th pick in the draft (even though Arizona would actually draft 20th if the season ended today because they are not in the playoffs), drafting Virginia tackle Morgan Moses, rather than a quarterback.
"Quarterback is a need position for the Cardinals, but there isn't one worth drafting at this spot. They'd be better off getting a guy like LSU's Zach Mettenberger on Day 2. Arizona's next-biggest need is offensive tackle, and Moses offers good value here. Nobody knows who he is because he was an O-lineman on a bad college team, but he was one of the most improved players I saw on tape this season. He has good physical tools, and he looked so much more comfortable at left tackle in 2013 than he did at right tackle in previous years. He has the potential to develop into a good starting left tackle."
SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn also sees Arizona skipping a quarterback in the first round and instead taking a tackle. Of course, it make be that the quarterbacks they covet most are already off the board. His projections right now have four quarterbacks coming off the board in the first eight picks.
Instead, he has Arizona going with Michigan's Taylor Lewan.
The Cardinals' offensive line continues to be an issue. Jonathan Cooper being out for the season hasn't helped, but offensive tackle is still a big need. Taylor Lewan has been exposed a bit as a senior, but he's still nice value for the Cardinals here.
Yes, tackle is an issue. Bradley Sowell is not the answer at left tackle. Most fans hope that Eric Winston is not the guy moving forward at right tackle. Pairing Jonathan Cooper with a very good tackle could make the left side of the line something special for a few years.
However, there always have to be red flags when you preface a player by saying he has been exposed in college as not as good as people thought.
What do you say?