Linebacker remains a priority for Cardinals

Von Miller (Scout.com)

The Cardinals are still searching for an effective pass rusher, particularly at linebacker.

The Cardinals have not been able to add an impact outside linebacker through the draft during Ken Whisenhunt four seasons as head coach.

That's not the only reason Whisenhunt is on his third defensive coordinator, but it's a contributing factor.

Finding an outside linebacker who can rush the passer is the top priority in the upcoming draft. That's why taking Texas A&M's Von Miller with the fifth overall pick makes sense.

Much of the offseason focus will be on finding a quarterback, but that's more of a free agency need. The Cardinals already have three young quarterbacks under contract: John Skelton, Max Hall and Rich Bartel.

Coaches are particularly high on Skelton, who showed some ability in appearances late last season.

Hall looked overwhelmed in his three starts, and Bartel was added late in the year.

Ideally, the Cardinals would like to acquire a veteran and have Skelton as the backup. Bartel and Hall would battle for the No. 3 job.

So that leaves outside linebacker as the priority. The Cardinals have tried to fill the job through free agency and the draft, but have failed.

Joey Porter, a free-agent signing last year, played like someone on the downside of his career. Cody Brown, a second-round pick in 2009, was cut. O'Brien Schofield, a fourth-round pick last season, could make an impact after undergoing ACL surgery in January of 2010.

The Cardinals also need to come out of this draft with a physical inside linebacker and some interior offensive linemen that can be developed.

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