General Manager Steve Keim upgraded several areas of the roster in free agency, but there is still work to be done. The Cardinals have 10 picks in this month’s draft, including No. 1 overall, as Keim aims to stock the roster for new coach Kliff Kingsbury. This if the final primer heading into the draft, which will be held from April 25-27.
Draft primer: Running Back
Players under contract: David Johnson, Chase Edmonds, D.J. Foster, T.J. Logan, Brandon Wilds
The Cardinals’ situation: The rushing attack was subpar in 2018, but it was not a personnel problem in the backfield. Johnson is still one of the most talented running backs in the NFL, capable of affecting games on the ground and through the air. The hire of coach Kliff Kingsbury is expected to breathe new life into his performance, and the Cardinals need that to happen. Edmonds emerged quickly as the backup last season and will aim to carve out a role. Foster has a versatile skillset while Logan has elite speed, and both hope to pique Kingsbury’s interest. Wilds will aim to make the roster.
The draft class: Alabama bruiser Josh Jacobs is the highest-rated running back and projected to go near the end of the first round. College teammate Damien Harris and Iowa State running back David Montgomery could be among the running backs selected on the second day. The running back group does not have as much high-end talent as in past years, but there is some depth in the middle to late rounds.
The conclusion: Johnson will demand the bulk of the playing time, and after selecting Edmonds and Logan in the past two drafts, the Cardinals could easily stand pat at the position if they so choose. Then again, if Kingsbury identifies a player he likes for his scheme, an addition is possible. Kingsbury’s offense is less traditional than many in the NFL, and the emphasis on finding playmakers, regardless of position, could keep running back prospects in play. This would be a true best player available choice if it happens.
Images of some of the top running back options heading into the April 25-27 draft