One of the main problems the Arizona Cardinals have had over the years is solidifying their offensive line. The interior has always been somewhat defense, but with a questionable selection of Levi Brown in the first round of the 2007 draft and an unknown starter on the right side, it is still up in the air as to how that group will fare in 2012.
The offensive line corps is manned by Levi Brown, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder and either Bobbie Massie or Jeremy Bridges at right tackle. According to Ryan Van Bibber of the SB Nation NFL site, these five men protecting the quarterback and sparking the run game rank in at 30th in the league.
This may be true when looking at the team from afar, but when examined closely and compared with the teams directly in front of them, it may be a bit harsh.
Here is Van Bibber's bio on the Cardinals, stating his reasons for putting them where he did:
Levi Brown allowed 11 sacks last year; Levi Brown is Arizona's highest paid offensive lineman. Lyle Sendlein, the center, is probably the best player of the bunch. The Cardinals need rookie Bobbie Massie to give them a better option than they currently have on the right side.
There are a couple of nonfactual or misleading statements in this paragraph. Yes, Brown is the highest paid player along the offensive line, but that is to be expected considering he plays left tackle. Most every team in the NFL pays their left tackle the most out of all of their offensive linemen. They are responsible for the blindside most of the time, so they receive the most.
Sure, Brown allowed 11 sacks last season, but he improved dramatically towards the latter half of the season. Over the last six games, he allowed just one quarterback sack, according to Pro Football Focus. Coincidentally, the Cardinals went 5-1 in that time frame.
On another note, I wouldn't necessarily count Sendlein as the team's best lineman. Daryn Colledge, a free agent acquisition before the 2011 season, played rather well at left guard. He is a very strong pass blocker, which also helped to mask some of Brown's weaknesses.
Overall, after looking at the team's placed ahead of the Cardinals in the rankings and what they deal with, I would put Arizona somewhere around 23 or 24. They obviously do not have the best blockers in the league, nobody could claim that with a serious look on their face. But I think the group is improving and will continue to do so, especially with all of the young talent they just drafted.
Now it's just up to the big guys up front to prove me right.