If you read Revenge of the Birds frequently, then you know all of our writers have gone over the numerous holes on this team's defense a number of times. We have talked cornerback, inside linebacker, safety and even defensive line. It wouldn't shock anyone if the team decided to draft an offensive player, such as their possible quarterback of the future, in the first round despite all of these holes, but defense will undoubtedly be a big focus throughout the other rounds.
But if GM Steve Keim decides he wants to focus on defense right away, could another defensive lineman be in the cards? Justis Mosqueda, an NFL draft guru and frequent podcaster with our very own Seth Cox seems to think that is exactly what Arizona will do, and for good reason.
Arizona's got to figure out a way to bring in another body to compete for their DE position in 2017.— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) March 27, 2017
You're going to draft McDowell you can't trick me @AZCardinals— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) March 27, 2017
Arizona has ~$120,000 in guaranteed money committed to their DEs (Mauro, Rucker and Stinson) not name Nkemdiche. The Campbell drop is big.— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) March 27, 2017
Per Spotrac, cutting Arizona's entire defensive line would cost them $7.58 M in dead cap over 9 players. $6.53 M of that is Nkemdiche.— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) March 27, 2017
There are 347 players in the NFL who signed deals worth more than $7.58 M in "practical guarantees," more than what's owed to current ARZ DL— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) March 27, 2017
One name for example? #346 Dustin Colquitt punter Kansas City. No way there's a team with less $ spent on the defensive line than Arizona.— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) March 27, 2017
The logic adds up. Sure, cap hits and salaries don't mean everything when looking at talent, but with the loss of Calais Campbell to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, the Cardinals are clearly lacking in talent in the defensive trenches. Robert Nkemdiche is still largely an unknown, Rodney Gunter had a down year in 2016, Frostee Rucker is aging and the rest of the line contains average rotation players.
Malik McDowell, Jonathan Allen and Taco Charlton (if he adds some more weight) are all players that could potentially make sense for Arizona and would immediately bolster their defensive line.
What do you think? Would taking another defensive lineman that high in the draft be nothing short of ludicrous?