The Arizona Cardinals offseason continues to focus on adding a pass rusher, but the defensive line which helps occupy opposing offensive lines was a little older in 2015. The Cardinals have added youth in Ed Stinson, Rodney Gunter and Josh Mauro, much of the playing time in 2015 went to a 29-year old Calais Campbell, a 32-year old Frostee Rucker and a 35-year old Cory Redding. They even added a 31-year old Red Bryant late in the season.
Arizona wants to get younger at certain positions and the line is probably one of them, so the team viably could add an interior defender in the draft.
Here are the top five interior defenders, according to NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock.
Interior defensive line
1. DeForest Buckner, Oregon
2. Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
3. Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
4. Jarran Reed, Alabama
5. A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
If we are looking at the first round, neither Buckner nor Nkemdiche are expected to be available when the Cardinals make their pick at number 29. Rankins has been mocked to the Cardinals a few times.
Rankins has the size (6-2, 302) and explosiveness to be a force. He looked great in Senior Bowl practies.
Reed is even bigger (6-3, 311) and could be a very good player at nose tackle, but isn't considered by many to be a three-down player. A player comp I have seen is Dan Williams.
Robinson, Reed's teammate, is another big man at 6-3, 312. he also is strong and would fit what the Cardinals do.
Would any of these guys make a good pick in the first round? Could any fall to the end of the second? Would you like to see any of them added to an already very effective defensive line?