Cardinals: Updated News & Notes

Andy Dalton (Getty)

A closer look at the Cardinals' most pressing areas of need and a glimpse into the teams draft preparation.

TEAM NEEDS

Outside linebacker: Last year's starters, Clark Haggans and Joey Porter, will be 34 by the time the season is scheduled to start. Haggans could return, but Porter, whose salary is due to increase to $5.75 million probably is gone. Von Miller would be a nice replacement. With Daryl Washington and O'Brien Schofield, the Cardinals would have three young, promising linebackers. Brooks Reed from the University of Arizona would make sense in the second round. He's bigger and would be a good fit on the left side.

Quarterback: It's the top priority this offseason, but the Cardinals would prefer to address it through free agency or trade. Those options obviously aren't available to them, but they will be at some point, if the 2011 season is to be played. In John Skelton, the Cardinals already have a young quarterback. But there are some intriguing quarterbacks in this draft.

Whisenhunt likes smart, tough gym-rat type of guys. Andy Dalton of Texas Christian falls into that category, as does Washington's Jake Locker. Both likely will be gone by the second round, however.

Inside linebacker: Gerald Hayes, the starter for the past five seasons, probably will be released at some point. The Cardinals don't have a big, inside linebacker on the roster, and could use a physical presence. Illinois' Martez Wilson would make sense in the second round. The starting two inside linebackers, Paris Lenon and Daryl Washington, weigh between 230 pounds and 240 pounds.

Guard: The starting guards, Alan Faneca and Deuce Lutui, are not under contract, and there are no young players behind them. Cannon is huge, 6-5, 358, and the Cardinals love to have large, road-grader type guys inside. Cannon has the size to play tackle, too, which is attractive.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Like every other team, the Cardinals conduct their own mock drafts in the days before the draft. Coach Ken Whisenhunt also looks at those done by media. "Listen, there is nothing wrong with information," he said. "There are enough people that don't agree with what we do, or the calls that I make, so it is my chance to look at something you guys do and disagree with you. It is kind of a guilty pleasure for me."

--The Cardinals brought 20-30 prospects in on pre-draft visits. Not all of them were highly-rated players. Some were brought in because the team wanted more medical information. Others were interviewed for additional information.

--The Cardinals have received calls from teams inquiring about moving up, but that's not unusual, said general manager Rod Graves. "There will be interest to get up there. We have always been receptive to picking up additional picks if we could. Nothing is off the board right now, or off the table."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I sure hope so. It didn't last year, that's for sure." -- Coach Ken Whisenhunt when asked if the team has enough surrounding talent to help a young quarterback win games.

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