One thing the Arizona Cardinals have done since Steve Keim has taken over is invest, heavily, in their offensive line. From the moment he took over he wanted to improve the offensive line play. They drafted Jonathan Cooper, signed Jared Veldheer, signed Mike Iupati, signed Evan Mathis and drafted D.J. Humphries. It has been the absolute objective of Keim to build an offensive line that will allow Bruce Arians and his offense to run at a highly effective and efficient pace.
Well, Steve Keim has done that, for the first time since moving to the desert the Arizona Cardinals, on paper, have created a highly regarded offensive line. Pro Football Focus agrees,
9. Arizona Cardinals
Projected starters: LT Jared Veldheer, LG Mike Iupati, C A.Q. Shipley, RG Evan Mathis, RT D.J. Humphries
Roster depth: Earl Watford, Evan Boehm, Rob Crisp
Key stat: Evan Mathis earned a run-blocking grade of 96.1 last season, the best among NFL guards; new teammate Mike Iupati had the third-best, at 91.6.
Arizona is another team where, if things go right, the franchise could feature an excellent offensive line. On the flip-side, the Cardinals could also free-fall down this list if even just a few things don't go their way. Evan Mathis was our third-highest-graded guard overall in 2015, but he is also the oldest guard in the league by over a year. A.Q. Shipley has graded out well at center throughout his career when he's had a chance. Humphries was a first-round pick in the 2014 draft, but didn't play a snap in 2016. If all three of those new starters works out, it would be a big help to the Arizona offense.
The right side of the offensive line is obviously something we have discussed ad nauseam on this site, but the Cardinals brought in a Pro Football Focus favorite in Evan Mathis and A.Q. Shipley is one of those guys who has always graded out well in PFF's work. The only unknown is Humphries, which is why nine is where the Cardinals are.
It is a different time for Cardinals fans, as they now have a strong offensive line to go with a competitive team year in and year out.