When it comes to the defensive side of the ball there is little doubt what the Cardinals need at this point, and while free agency may shift that focus slightly, the Cardinals need help all along their front seven.
While Ed Stinson looked good and Kareem Martin may have shown a flash (yes singular), there may be a need to find a more every down type of player to play opposite of Calais Campbell.
Nose tackle Dan Williams is a force of a player, but how much money he commands will dictate his status on the roster moving forward.
Meanwhile, the linebacker position is a mess, without Daryl Washington there is not a position you look at and say "they've got that on lockdown for the foreseeable future."
Let's get to know ten player and learn about five more to watch on the defensive side of the ball.
Also, remember, the "We're looking for speed on the defensive side of the ball," mantra has little to do with 40 time, and much, much more to do with their 3 cone, short shuttle, broad jump and vertical, meaning their explosiveness and short area burst.
10 to know:
Joey Mbu, DT Houston: A stout 6-3 310lbs, Mbu is one of the versatile defensive names to get to know in this draft, as he can probably play the nose or the end position in the Arizona Cardinals 3-4. He is not the most physically imposing player, but he knows how to use his hands, and is willing to outwork anyone.
Ellis McCarthy, DT UCLA: One of the most heralded recruits coming out of high school, McCarthy started only eight games in his career and decided to declare as a junior. Now, he'll put on a show at the combine to remind teams of the raw athleticism and talent he has, but his career will be defined by if he will realize that potential on the field.
Deon Simon, NT Northwestern St (Louisiana): The massive Simon will have two questions to answer for all teams at the Combine. 1. How are the knees? 2. What upside is left for a 24 year old with two knee surgeries? He is the prototype nose tackle for what the Cardinals did on defense, will he be healthy enough to matter?
Angelo Blackson, DT Auburn: Blackson is another traditional space eating tackle, with the ability to hold up at the point of attack against the run, but does he offer any versatility? Will he test quick enough to be an option for the Cardinals?
Henry Anderson, DE Stanford: The Cardinals may be without Darnell Dockett in 2015, and while they have Stinson and Martin, they need to continue to search for help. Anderson's size is intriguing, but will he be athletic enough to make the transition to the NFL where he won't have the size/strength advantage?
Christian Covington, DL Rice: What does Covington bring? Well it used to be athleticism and the ability to make a defense flexible playing inside or out, but he was injured in 2014. The knee is what will be the question at the combine for Covington.
Stephone Anthony, LB Clemson: One of the bigger, stronger inside linebackers in this draft class, the question with Anthony is, does he have the movement skills to be on the field for three downs?
Zack Hodges, Edge Harvard: The Cardinals need to find athletes who can bend and bring pressure off the edge, and Hodges has looked like he can do that at times. How explosive he is is yet to be determined though, as his level of competition was not the best.
Hayes Pullard, LB USC: He has the look of an inside linebacker, but too often falls into the "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane," mold. Teams will have to figure out if they can bring the animal out in him, or if that is just his nature.
Davis Tull, Edge Tennessee Chattanooga: Tull has come onto my radar late, as many small school prospects do in the draft process, because of his absurd production, now I want to see if he has the body and the beast to back up those numbers. The first step is impressing at the combine.
Five others to watch:
Max Valles, Edge Virginia
Ramik Wilson, LB Georgia
Kyle Emanuel, LB North Dakota St
Ryan Delaire, Edge Towson
Bobby Richardson, DT Indiana