Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires PHOENIX, Ariz. — The NFL draft starts Thursday, and while the Cardinals say they don’t have much in the way of needs, ESPN’s Todd McShay says that’s not exactly the case.In an insider piece going over every team’s needs entering the draft, the analyst provided a handful for Bruce Arians’ team.The Cardinals’ linebackers struggled in pass coverage last season, recording their lowest number of sacks since 2010 with just 35. LaMarr Woodleyand Sean Weatherspoon are short-term stopgaps, but they could use an upgrade, particularly at outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. The Cards signed Cory Redding and Corey Peters this offseason to help replace Darnell Dockett and Dan Williams, but adding talent alongside standout Calais Campbell should be a priority. They need a starter at corner opposite Patrick Peterson to replace Antonio Cromartie, who left for the Jets in free agency. 2014 second-rounder Troy Niklas saw his rookie season derailed by an ankle injury, but he’s more of a blocker anyway, so Arizona could look to add a pass-catching TE. The Cardinals ranked No. 31 in the league in rushing yards per game last season, and they’d do well to add a power back alongside Andre Ellington, who wore down over the course of last season and ended up on IR. With picks 24, 55, 86, 123, 159, 198, 241 and 256, the Cards are at the mercy of 23 other teams scheduled to pick before them. The Cardinals are coming off an 11-5 season, locking up an NFC Wild Card spot despite some terrible luck in the health department. Hopes are key players like Carson Palmer will return from their injuries and join a talented 2015 draft class to bring the Cards to the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Will the Cardinals be influenced by their biggest positions of need, as McShay broke down, or will the team choose to take the highest-ranked prospect on their board? 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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