2013 NFL Mock Draft: Cardinals could target offensive tackle or a pass rusher

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

With Geno Smith likely off the board, the Cardinals could target an offensive tackle or an outside pass rusher with the No. 7 overall pick, according to recent mock drafts.

Two of the Arizona Cardinals' biggest areas of need are up front on offense and defense. Likewise, recent mock drafts have Arizona targeting either an offensive tackle or a pass rusher with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Nate Davis of USA Today likes Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson, while Charley Casserly of NFL.com sees LSU's Barkevious Mingo landing in Glendale.

The case for either athlete is obvious. Johnson has risen steadily up draft boards since the end of the 2012 college football season and is pure left tackle prospect. According to Davis, Johnson would allow the Cardinals to keep Levi Brown a right tackle where he is better suited, thus shoring up both ends of what was a bad offensive line last season.

Mingo, meanwhile, would provide instant chaos for opposing offenses. SB Nation's Dan Kadar agreed with Casserly in his latest mock draft, saying that Mingo is the outside threat the Cardinals' defense needs to complement a solid pair of interior pass rusher in defensive end in Calais Campbell and middle linebacker Daryl Washington.

The biggest area of need is still quarterback, but with Geno Smith likely to be off the board by the No. 7 pick, the Cardinals may want to wait until later rounds to take a chance on a rookie.

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