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NFL Combine - Day 6 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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NFL Combine Preview: Cardinals Watch List

The Cardinals roster needs a facelift, the NFL draft can help.

The Senior Bowl has passed, which means the draft season is in full swing. At this moment, scouts, prospects, agents, and everyone in between are gearing up for the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Prospects will undergo medical exams, meetings with teams, and athletic testing. It is created to be the ultimate “competition” event.

As the Cardinals' off-season presses past the tumultuous start. The light shines on the front office to retool this roster. General Manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury must acknowledge the clear talent and personnel issues with this team. The first step, assessing the talent at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here are offensive players the Cardinals’ brass needs to have their eyes on in Indianapolis. Also, I will have a defensive list coming.

Offense

Running Backs:

James Conner, Chase Edmonds, and Jonathan Ward are set to hit free agency. Surveying a good running back class for cheaper and more talented options would be wise. These backs fit the zone-based running scheme Kingsbury prefers. Also, running styles and versatility to replace either Conner or Edmonds.

Wide Receivers

  • Kyle Philips, UCLA
  • Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
  • Khalil Shakir, Boise State
  • Mike Woods, Oklahoma

The A.J. Green experiment was good while it lasted. He was unable to sustain his effectiveness after De’Andre Hopkins went down with an injury. Christian Kirk is due to hit the open market. This is a talented wide receiver class with quality depth. The listed pass-catchers offer slot and boundary skillsets. This offense needs an injection of talent in the receiver room.

Offensive Line

  • Zion Johnson, Boston College
  • Ed Ingram, LSU
  • Alec Lindstrom, Boston College
  • Matt Waletzko, North Dakota
  • Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan

Providing consistent protection for Kyler Murray is a great way to help this offense sustain their fast starts. Max Garcia is an average at best player and Josh Jones is not suited to play guard. Justin Pugh is going to be 32 this season and has one year left on his deal. Finding potential developmental offensive tackles and a starting guard should be priority this off-season.

The combine will be important for teams to get an up-close view of these prospects. In addition to meeting them and picking their brains. The pressure is on Steve Keim to hit on his early draft picks this year after lackluster first round picks in back to back seasons. The Cardinals need to address key positions on the offensive side of the ball to become a real threat in the NFC.

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