2009 NFL Draft
2008 RECORD: 9-7
LAST SEASON: Advanced to playoffs for first time in a decade by winning weak NFC West, then caught fire in improbable playoff run to beat Atlanta, Carolina and Philadelphia and become NFC champions. With virtually unstoppable combination of Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald, came within a minute of Super Bowl upset of Pittsburgh. Defense was inconsistent, though, and its collapse on that final drive against Steelers helped lead to firing of coordinator Clancy Pendergast.
THEY NEED: Another RB to help worst running game in NFL. Edgerrin James wants to be released, but Cardinals won't do it until they feel secure at position. Hard-running Tim Hightower returns, but speed back J.J. Arrington left via free agency. Also an OLB because team needs to improve pass rush. Center, although coach Ken Whisenhunt insists he's pleased with Lyle Sendlein. Tight end.
THEY DON'T NEED: QBs. Warner signed new contract, Matt Leinart waits in wings with Brian St. Pierre at No. 3. WRs. Anquan Boldin still would like a trade, but Cardinals show no sign of accommodating him and say they'll eventually get around to trying to re-sign him. Steve Breaston had breakout year, and team has other talented youngsters. CBs, after signing free agent Bryant McFadden.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Except for once when they traded pick away, Cardinals have never drafted this late since coming to Arizona, so uncertainty abounds. Moreno, Wells and Donald Brown are top RBs. If Cardinals go elsewhere, they might opt for English.
OUTLOOK: Cardinals hope to ride their momentum and confidence they gained from last season and are set at nearly every position. They look to add depth on OL, add a TE and perhaps another player on D-line and could use a backup safety. Team wants to sign ILB Karlos Dansby and S Adrian Wilson to new contracts, then turn its intention to Boldin. Last year's run has, at least for now, buried the franchise's reputation as the NFL's biggest loser.