With the first few waves of free agency in the rear view, the Cardinals are in the midst of their annual draft prep. GM Steve Keim will lay the groundwork to bring in a new class of rookies to supplement the roster already built and forge a direction upon which a few more free agents are likely to be signed.
Here is the next position group breakdown.
Draft primer: defensive line
The Cardinals’ situation: J.J. Watt, impact-wise, was having an excellent first year in the desert before missing most of the season with a shoulder injury. The veteran should be fully healthy by training camp. Zach Allen showed signs of breaking out in his third season. Rashard Lawrence could start this year at nose tackle. Michael Dogbe, Leki Fotu, and the 2022 draft pick in the coming weeks will likely fill the rotation. It’s also a possibility Corey Peters will re-sign later this offseason.
The draft class: Georgia’s Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis headline the defensive line prospects in the draft. The duo project to be first-round picks in the coming weeks. They could be taken early or fall to the Cardinals’ pick at No.23. It will almost certainly be something the Cardinals watch closely. Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey and Texas A&M’s Demarvin Leal could also emerge as options, depending on how things shake out.
The conclusion: Since adding an interior defensive lineman remains a need, the Cardinals will likely draft one in the coming weeks to replace Jordan Phillips, who the team released earlier this offseason, and help improve the run defense. The Cardinals surrendered 114.9 rushing yards per contest this season. Wyatt and Davis are two names that have been linked to the team as potential selections.