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Cardinals Draft Primer 2020: Offensive Line

The Cardinals could look to boost right tackle in draft

General Manager Steve Keim did an impressive job filling needs to begin the league year, as there are no longer any glaring holes in the starting lineup. He will aim to supplement the roster in the draft, beginning with the No. 8 overall selection. The Cardinals are without their second-rounder because of the DeAndre Hopkins trade, but did pick up an additional fourth in the deal. We will break down each position group heading into the draft, which will be held April 23-25.

Draft primer: Offensive line

More draft primers: DL I WR I CB I TE I ST I QB I S I RB I LB

Need: Medium

The Cardinals' situation: Tackles D.J. Humphries and Marcus Gilbert were re-signed this offseason, which allows the Cardinals to keep familiar faces at each starting offensive line spot if they so choose. Mason Cole is currently projected to replace free agent A.Q. Shipley at center, while Justin Pugh and J.R. Sweezy are poised to return as the starting guards. Justin Murray could compete with Gilbert to start at right tackle, while Max Garcia is another projected reserve with the talent to push for playing time.

The draft class: There are four offensive tackles – Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton and Andrew Thomas – that could conceivably be options at No. 8. Humphries is signed for the next three seasons, but right tackle does not have the same long-term stability. If the Cardinals strengthen the interior of the offensive line, it will likely come in later rounds.

The conclusion: The return of Gilbert gives the Cardinals flexibility to bypass an offensive tackle in the first round if they like another prospect better, but the one-year nature of his contract still makes the position a priority. Right tackle is the most pressing long-term need on offense, and the Cardinals seem certain to study the draft prospects closely before making their decision at No. 8.

Images of some of the top offensive line prospects heading into the 2020 draft

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