2014 NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals go pass rusher in the 1st round

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The latest look at what the Cards could do with their first pick in the draft.

It is about this time of year when everyone starts banking on the Arizona Cardinals drafting an offensive lineman with the first of their six draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. It is probably the biggest need the team has, especially at tackle, and a position that the team has not really had as a strength since Lomas Brown was protecting Jake Plummer.

However, in SB Nation's Dan Kadar's latest mock draft, the best tackles are all gone. The Cards have to go another route and take a pass rusher -- OLB Anthony Barr from UCLA.

With the best offensive tackles all picked, the Cardinals would do well by taking one of the top pass rushers in the draft this year. Barr may slip to this range because he's limited outside of blitzing the quarterback. While stopping the run may not be Barr's strong point, he's the kind of player who should get double-digit sacks as a rookie.

The tackles that are already off the board are Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, Auburn's Greg Robinson, Michigan's Taylor Lewan, Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio and Tennessee's Anotnio Richardson. That's five in the first 19 picks. That is one more than the number of quarterbacks taken in the same group (four).

Would Barr be a good fit? The team has a lot of players at the same position, but only John Abraham has shown any ability at all to be productive pass rushers, and he is far from young. Even with limited ability in coverage, we have seen the 49ers and Seahawks draft players like Aldon Smith and Bruce Irvin, who were of a similar skill set.

Do you like the pick? Would you be disappointed in it? Considering the players already off the board, what direction would you have gone?

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