The Arizona Cardinals were fortunate enough to be able to sign John Abraham last offseason and have him to be very effective in the pass rush. Outside of Abraham, though, the team didn't have much push from the edge at outside linebacker.
They have a slew of players at the position, but none that have shown elite pass rush skills, so while they have many players at the position, it could be a target in this year's draft in May.
Seth Cox ranked the edge rushers for Arizona Sports. There are two players that won't likely be around when the Cards pick at number 20. Cox writes that JaDeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack will both be gone in the top 10.
Players that could be available are Auburn's Dee Ford, UCLA's Anthony Barr, Ohio State's Ryan Shazier and Missouri's Kony Ealy. All of them are projected to be taken in the first round, but not top 10.
Barr has great upside. Ford is a good speed rusher who had good production against some of the best offensive lines in college football. Shazier, according to Cox, "has all the makings of a star linebacker at the next level." Ealy would be a better 3-4 DE if he adds weight.
The next two guys on the list are BYU's Kyle Van Noy and Georgia Tech's Jeremiah Attaochu. However, they are projected to go early in the second round, meaning they are probably not good value at number 20 and not going to be around at 52, when the Cards pick in the second round.
Would any of the first round guys be a good fit or decision for the Cardinals to take in the first round?
Would it be better to get a tackle, a defensive lineman or a defensive back there and pick up a pass rusher later, among the likes of Stanford's Trent Murphy, Florida State's Christian Jones, Florida State's Telvin Smith, Oregon State's Scott Crichton or Alabama's Adrian Hubbard?
- NFL free agency grades and reactions: Looking at Arizona Cardinals and their moves [podcast]
- 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals shore up pass rush, teams make run on QBs early
- NFL free agency: Eric Winston and the right tackle position for the Arizona Cardinals
- NFL free agency: Alfonso Smith not returning to Arizona Cardinals
- NFL mock draft 2014: Arizona Cardinals go Dee Ford with 20th pick, but could go QB, CB, OL