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Cardinals Draft Primer 2022: Inside Linebacker

Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins make position low priority

Primer Inside LB

With the first few waves of free agency in the rearview, the Cardinals are in the midst of their annual draft prep. GM Steve Keim will lay the groundwork to bring in a new class of rookies to supplement the roster already built and forge a direction upon which a few more free agents are likely to be signed.

Here is the fourth position group breakdown.

Draft Primer: Inside Linebacker

More Draft Primers: WR, CB, RB

Players under contract: Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons, Nick Vigil, Tanner Vallejo, Joe Walker

Need: Low

The Cardinals' situation: The Cardinals appear set at inside linebacker. Zaven Collins will start at the "Mike" linebacker position after the team released Jordan Hicks in March, paving the way for the 2021 firstround pick to have a larger role. Isaiah Simmons, the 2020 first-round pick, is the other inside starter and should take another step this season after a solid sophomore campaign. The Cardinals have several guys already on the roster for depth.

The draft class: Utah's Devin Lloyd and Georgia's Nakobe Dean headline the class of off-ball linebacker prospects. Both project as first-round picks in the coming weeks. Wisconsin's Leo Chenal, Georgia's Quay Walker and Channing Tindall, Montana State's Troy Anderson are other top prospects at the position.

The Conclusion: Although the last two Cardinals' first-round draft selections have been inside linebackers, that won't be the case this year. But with eight total picks in the seven-round draft, the potential of adding one late in the draft could still happen.

Images of the top inside linebacker prospects heading into the draft.