The Arizona Cardinals surrendered a league-high 58 sacks in 2012. With the addition of quarterback Carson Palmer, protecting their signal-caller will remain as important as ever if the Cards want to compete in the fast-rising NFC West division.
That's part of the reason why Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, in his most recent mock draft on Wednesday, sees Arizona going with offensive guard Chance Warmack from the Alabama Crimson Tide with the seventh overall pick. Banks seems to believe that no matter who's available, the Cardinals will take an offensive lineman:
Knowing that both Warmack and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper are likely to be there for them even if they do miss out on the top three offensive tackles has to soften the blow for the Cardinals, and encourage them not to over-pay in any potential trade-up talks.
Warmack has been ascending up the charts this offseason and now ranks as the best offensive guard prospect in the draft, according to SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn. Fairburn, in his latest mock, has Warmack going 13th overall to the New York Jets after a hypothetical draft day trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who currently own that pick.
Fairburn predicts the Cardinals will draft hybrid outside linebacker-defensive end Barkevious Mingo, out of LSU, with the No. 7 pick.