NFL Draft 2013: Will the Cardinals look for a pass rusher in the first round?

Jonathan Ferrey

One of the overlooked positions that the Cardinals desperately need help at is outside linebacker.

In the NFL, the three most important positions, in my opinion, are quarterback, left tackle and the pass rushing defensive end/outside linebacker. The Cardinals, as they stand, could use upgrades at all three.

By the time the 2013 NFL Draft rolls around, quarterback may not be an option and the best left tackles may already be off the board by the time the Cardinals pick at #7. That could leave them to pick the best player available or it could make them reach for a player they need.

The most likely of options, if that scenario comes true, is for the team to finally get that franchise pass rusher at outside linebacker. Sam Acho, O'Brien Schofield and Quentin Groves were adequate last season, but Groves is gone now and is being replaced by Lorenzo Alexander.

Even with Alexander's addition, the team needs that player like a Von Miller, Aldon Smith or Clay Matthews that has a knack for getting to the opposing quarterback. That is why there is a very good chance the Cards go that route in April. Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 agrees with me.

Some names to look out for include Dion Jordan from Oregon, Jarvis Jones from Georgia, Ziggy Ansah from BYU or Barkevious Mingo from LSU. Each of these players have a chance to drop to the Cardinals at #7 given the uncertainty at the top of the draft order this year.

The more time goes on, the more it looks like both Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will be off the board by the time Arizona is on the clock. If that's the case, an outside linebacker might HAVE to be the choice. And if it is, it will fill both need and value.

What do you think? Pass rusher in the first round? Tell us in the comments section below.

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