Cards Continue to Target Tight Ends

TE Derek Fine (Miller Safrit/Scout.com)

The Cardinals continue to seek out tight ends prospects this offseason. Amberly Richardson reports from Indy that the team met with a day-two prospect who could challenge for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. Find out who he is and why Ken Whisenhunt is excited by this year's tight ends class in this Cardinalinsider.com exclusive.

The Cardinals met with tight end Derek Fine out of Kansas at the NFL Combine. He has shown the ability to continue improving as the years pass by. The former Kansas Jayhawk has increased his production each season since 2004. His college career culminated last season when he was named a team captain and posted 46 catches for 394 yards and four scores.

In 2006, Fine tied for the team lead in touchdowns with five and earned the team's Gale Sayers Award for courageous play.

The tight end position in Arizona has received a lot of attention in the last few years with players such as Leonard Pope, Ben Patrick and Troy Beinemann joining the team through the draft or free agency.

"This year, we felt like Leonard made a lot of progress," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He got hurt in the Seattle game with the dislocated and fractured ankle but we expect him back for the season. We got some good play out of two young guys, Troy Bienemann and Ben Patrick, our seventh-round pick. So I think it gives us a much better basis at that position going into this season."

The Cardinals have seen an influx of tight end talent since 2006. However, the overall production from this group has come up short and the team could take a flyer on a player in April's draft.

"That position is a very difficult position to find. This year's group is a good group," Whisenhunt said.

Fine will need to work on his game at the next level if he is to be successful. While he has shown the ability to be a complete tight end, there have been some questions about his consistency. The Cardinals don't appear to be overly worried. They were one of a few teams who pulled Fine aside at the NFL Combine this past weekend.

Fine is very confident in his ability to catch the ball and believes he can be consistent, no matter how many drops he had in his career.

Arizona has more then a few holes to fill, most notably on defense. Nonetheless, if Fine is available in the late rounds of the draft, the Cardinals could bring him in to add to their mix of up-and-coming talent.

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