Much of the focus on defense this offseason has been on the starting cornerback position opposite Patrick Peterson. With the Cardinals trading for Jamar Taylor, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, the team can now shift its focus on other positions of concern.
Evaluating the entire defense, one area that could be improved upon is the linebacker position.
Edmond Robinson is the only linebacker besides the starters that has ever started in an NFL game (2). He has total of 13 career tackles and was active for 22 games in his four years in the NFL. Scooby Wright III and Jeremy Cash have a combined 13 tackles in their three-year careers.
Here are a couple linebackers that the Cardinals should consider:
- Andrew Gachkar: Entering his eighth season, he has played with the Chargers, Cowboys, and Panthers. He was active in 104 regular season games and has 148 career tackles.
- Lawrence Timmons: Entering his twelfth season, he was active in 172 regular seasons games making 140 starts. He has 35.5 sacks and 12 interceptions in his career. He has played with Cardinals’ linebacker coach Larry Foote in their time with the Steelers.
Mychal Kendricks was recently released by the Philadelphia Eagles but don’t expect the Cardinals to pursue him.
If the Cardinals decide not to pursue any free agent linebackers, there are two rookies on the team that could make some noise in the coming months. Frank Ginda, undrafted free agent signee from San Jose State, led the nation with 173 tackles in 2017 but was not invited to the NFL Combine. Former Sioux Fall linebacker Dennis Gardeck had a impressive pro day, running a 4.57 second 40 yard dash and had 31 bench reps. He had 21 tackles for loss and ranked second in the nation in sacks (14) this past year. Both certainly have the DNA that Steve Wilks wants in a linebacker.
Even with the impressive college statistics, both still have a long way to go to make the 53-man roster.
Vontarrius Dora, Airius Moore, and Matthew Oplinger are the other linebackers on the team.