General Manager Steve Keim made some high-profile moves in free agency, adding J.J. Watt, Rodney Hudson, A.J. Green, Malcolm Butler and others. The Cardinals have lofty goals in 2021, and finding impact rookies would help fortify the roster. We will break down each position group heading into the draft, which will be held from Thursday, April 29 through Saturday, May 1.
Free agent primer: Special Teams
The Cardinals' situation: Even though Prater and Lee are in their upper 30s, specialist have shown the ability to perform at a high level for a long time. Both players are dependable veterans with accomplished resumes, so the Cardinals feel confident in their ability to produce in 2021. Brewer has been steady at long snapper for years and will resume those duties this season.
The draft class: It's not a lock that a kicker or punter gets drafted this season. Miami's Jose Borregales, Memphis' Riley Patterson, Florida's Evan McPherson and Ohio State's Blake Hubeil are among the top kicker prospects available. Kentucky's Matt Duffy, Cincinnati's James Smith and Georgia Tech's Pressley Harvin II are among the top punters.
The conclusion: It's rare for any team to use a draft pick on a specialist, and the Cardinals don't have a great need this year. Lee is on a one-year contract and will be 39 in August, but is widely expected to be the punter when the season begins. The Cardinals have signed undrafted kickers and punters in the past, and they could do the same thing this year to get a look at some younger options for the future.
Images of the top kickers, punters and long snappers heading into the draft