Mocking the Draft wants to introduce you to an new article series taking a closer look at each team's draft workings. The WarRoom articles will give you a glimpse at the recent draft history and the decision-making structure of each NFL team. We will also include our thoughts about the structure and draft history.
Offensive Scheme: Ken Whisenhunt and the Arizona Cardinals are a pass heavy team that ran the ball only 36% of the time in 2011. However, that number is a bit off because the Cardinals were trailing in a lot of football games. Resulting in the need to gain big chunks of yardage.
One would have to believe that the running game will be a bigger part of the offense this season. The running back group features Ryan Williams, Beanie Wells, and Tim Hightower all capable of making plays. The starting quarterback will also play a factor in the type of offensive style. If the Kevin Kolb trade rumors come true then we could see a more efficient passing attack.
Whisenhunt has a good offensive mind and will be able to mold his offense to his personal. However, a lot depends on that quarterback position which was the result of last seasons struggles. I would anticipate a more balanced attack this season utilizing the talent at the running back position.
Defensive Scheme: Last season the defense struggled to replace several key free agent departures. However, several young players made an impact. The defense will welcome the addition of rookies Patrick Peterson and Sam Acho both of which could make an early impact.
The Cardinals brought in Roy Horton from the Steelers and he will likely run a very aggressive 3-4 defensive attack. In Pittsburgh, Horton studied under the aggressive and unique defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau. As I mentioned, the defensive unit has some good young players that have the potential to make this a dangerous unit. Look for players such as Acho, O'Brien Schofield, and Daryl Washington to be used in various ways in order to bring pressure.
Thoughts: This franchise was able to put a bandaid on the terrible Matt Leinart situation by bringing in Kurt Warner. However, that was always only a temporary solution and the lack of planning ahead has put them in a tough position. It is very difficult for an NFL team to be successful with bad quarterback play and as it stands now the Cardinals still lack that long term solution.
While the lack of a quarterback answer is hurting the franchise their other draft selections are keeping them competitive. You have to like the way they retooled on defense and the addition of Patrick Peterson will only make them better. They have drafted playmakers on offense such as Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams, Tim Hightower, Steve Breaston, and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Overall, the franchise is doing a good job finding talent throughout the draft and appear to be only a quarterback away from another playoff run.
Five-year record: 37- 43
Coach: Ken Whisenhunt
GM: Rod Graves
Recent Draft History: Click Here to see the complete draft history
Best Pick: Steve Breaston
Worst Pick: Matt Leinart