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Draft Primer 2015: Safeties

With a weak draft group and a strong presence already on roster, Cards unlikely to take one

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Arizona State's Damarious Randall has shot into view as potentially the top safety available in a weak position class.


The NFL draft will be held from Thursday through Saturday in Chicago. The Cardinals addressed several needs in free agency and are now zeroing in on their draft targets. Here's the final positional preview.

More draft analysis: LB I RB I CB I TE I DL I OL I ST I QB I WR

Draft primer: Safety

Cardinals under contract: Tyrann Mathieu, Deone Bucannon, Rashad Johnson, Tony Jefferson, Chris Clemons, D.J. Campbell

Need: Low

Images of the safeties projected to get drafted

Analysis: If there is one position which looks settled for 2015, it is safety. Tyrann Mathieu should enter the season fully healthy after being limited last year by knee and thumb injuries. Deone Bucannon spent the bulk of his time at linebacker last year after the suspension of Daryl Washington, but coach Bruce Arians wants him to move back to his natural position provided the linebacker unit is

strong enough without him. Rashad Johnson was one of the team's top players last year and Tony Jefferson has emerged as an important piece.

The safety draft class is weak this year. Only Alabama's Landon Collins is projected as a first-rounder, and it's unlikely the Cardinals spend a high pick on this position with other more pressing needs. Arizona State's Damarious Randall has flown up draft boards, going from a projected sixth-rounder to now a second-round possibility after impressive workouts. There are more options in the later rounds if the Cardinals feel like a safety is a value pick.

There is room for a safety if General Manager Steve Keim likes one. Mathieu plays a lot of slot cornerback, while Bucannon can again dip down to inside linebacker. Additionally, Jefferson and Johnson are both scheduled to be free agents after this season, so a late-round pick could get some seasoning in 2015 and then take on a bigger role moving forward. However, Mathieu and Bucannon seem like long-term future starters at this position, which is why the Cardinals are expected to address other areas with their top picks in the draft.



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