2013 NFL Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals Select...

USA TODAY Sports

"Steelers West" almost saw Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher fall into their laps, but it was just a tease. Who will BTSC user Steel34D go with instead as our community mock draft moves forward?

The 2013 Arizona Cardinals are once again a team in transition. They fired their General Manager Rod Graves and their best coach in franchise history (by win percentage) Ken Whisenhunt. Steve Keim, who was an integral part of the scouting department, is the Cardinals new GM.

Keim went with a common theme for Arizona since 2007 and hired another former Steelers' offensive coordinator in Bruce Arians as their head coach. Whisenhunt's confidence that D'Anthony Batiste could start at LT for them in 2012 was unfathomable because the year prior he wasn't even good enough to justify receiving a jersey on game day for more than half the season. This, along with subpar QB play, ultimately led to his firing.

On paper the 2013 Cardinals offense looks improved, but they have yet to address the root of the problem.-Steel34D

Arians knows how bad this O-line and offense as a whole was and has hired multiple offensive line coaches, as well as renowned offensive mind Tom Moore, onto his 2013 staff. After trading for Carson Palmer, Arians has a QB who can throw the deep ball. Signing Rashard Mendenhall gives them a solid RB to pair with the talented but often injured Ryan Williams - who has ended up on injured reserve both years he's been in the league so far. On paper the 2013 Cardinals offense looks improved, but they have yet to address the root of the problem.

Cardinals' Draft Needs

The Cardinals desperately need to improve their O-line play. They could also use a pass rushing OLB to pair with the solid play of 2011 4th round pick Sam Acho, and need safety help after releasing both of their starting safeties from 2012. But clearly, there is only one way the Cardinals should go with this pick based on talent and need.

With the 7th pick, Steelers West (the Arizona Cardinals) select Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma.

Uspw_7002374_medium
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Lane Johnson was a former high school quarterback who originally went to Kilgore College, a small junior college in Texas, to play QB. After spending a year at Kilgore, he transferred to Oklahoma University in 2009 as a tight end and defensive end. In 2011, Johnson was moved to the offensive line to play right tackle and started all but one game at the position. He had started to garner some draft buzz as a possible mid-round talent who was extremely raw.

In 2012, the now 6-foot-6, 300 pound tackle with 35 ¼ inch arms was moved to the left tackle position. As the season went on, the raw LT from Oklahoma started to impress with how much he had improved during the season - culminating in a match-up against Texas A&M's DaMontre Moore, where Johnson shut him down. At the Senior Bowl, Johnson continued to show he had the superior athleticism to play LT. After two top junior OTs decided to return to college, Johnson's stock rose even higher from a late first rounder to potential top-10 pick.

In my opinion, [Johnson] has the highest ceiling of any of the potential 1st round offensive tackles-Steel34D

Lane Johnson is still raw. He needs to work on his footwork, he tends to extend his upper-body towards the defender instead of keeping his feet under him, and he needs to practice keeping his center of gravity low so that he can re-anchor through contact. He has the ability to shut down the speed rush, but will set too far inside at times, which allows him to get beat. With only two years of experience, the fact that he has already developed into a top ten pick is amazing. However, Johnson can still get better and in my opinion, he has the highest ceiling of any of the potential 1st round OTs.

Where does he fit?

By drafting Johnson, the Cardinals answer their questions at LT. At RT they got a steal in Bobby Massie (who I was high on as a RT last year), with their 4th round selection in last year's draft. Massie started out the year a bit rough going up against some of the league's best pass rushers, but finished the last six games passing the eye-test, as well as grading out positively by Pro Football Focus in all of them -- which included not allowing a pressure to the Rams' Chris Long, who had scorched him the first time around.

The Cardinals' interior line play was atrocious. Lyle Sendlein is at best an average center and LG Daryn Colledge isn't any better. However, none of them were worse than RG Adam Snyder. Snyder, while serviceable in the running game, was about as effective as a traffic cone in pass protection. The drafting of Johnson would allow them to move Levi Brown, former No. 7 pick overall in 2007, inside where his aggressiveness and physical play would allow him to excel against the bigger but slower interior defensive linemen, à la Willie Colon for the Steelers in 2012.

Essentially, the drafting of Lane Johnson allows the Cardinals to fix two holes in their offensive line, which should help their running game. Palmer, who is best at play-action and deep throws, should get enough time to play well with an improved running game. This will allow them to improve an offense which was ranked 32nd in the NFL last year.


Team Player Pos School BTSC rep
1 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/KC.png Star Lotulelei DT Utah [Link to pick]
2 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/JAC.png Dion Jordan DE/OLB Oregon [Link to pick]
3 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/OAK.png Sharrif Floyd DT Florida [Link to pick]
4 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/PHI.png Dee Milliner CB Alabama [Link to pick]
5 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/DET.png Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan [Link to pick]
6 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/CLE.png Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M [Link to pick]
7 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/ARI.png Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma Steel34D
8 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/BUF.png


dnclark
9 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/NYJ.png


PCISteeler
10 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/TEN.png


gentile3
11 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/SD.png


slatts17
12 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/MIA.png


Michael Uhlhorn
13 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/TB.png


TheCommish
14 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/CAR.png


StoneColdSteel
15 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/NO.png


Thoroughbred of Sin
16 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/STL.png


Hines4theHall
17 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/PIT.png


[reserved]
18 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/DAL.png


Lamarr56
19 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/NYG.png


BlackandGold
20 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/CHI.png


ddoubleday
21 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/CIN.png


garmancm
22 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/STL.pngviahttp://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/WAS.png


Hines4theHall
23 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/MIN.png


Pittsblitz56
24 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/IND.png


steel3dd92
25 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/MIN.pngviahttp://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/SEA.png


Pittsblitz56
26 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/GB.png


barnerburner
27 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/HOU.png


c63tho
28 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/DEN.png


Ram_india
29 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/NE.png


TrifeReality
30 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/ATL.png


MDR21
31 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/SF.png


afbassi
32 http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/logos/50x50/BAL.png


Mr MaLoR
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker