There aren't many teams that can stake the claim they had a better offseason than the Arizona Cardinals, a franchise that continued its momentum with an impressive NFL Draft, despite having just six picks. Arizona was fortunate enough to have Isaiah Simmons fall to No. 8, but that wasn't the Cardinals' best pick.
Somehow offensive tackle Josh Jones fell into the third round, and the Cardinals pounced when it was their turn to pick at No. 72 overall. Graded a first-round talent by many, Jones immensely improves the Arizona offensive line -- even though they had to wait 64 picks after deciding not to address that need at No. 8 overall. Once the Cardinals selected Simmons, it didn't seem feasible to get a good offensive lineman -- especially since Arizona passed on Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs.
Arizona improved its defense and offensive line with its first two picks. The second-round pick the Cardinals forfeited? That was for All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the trade that sent David Johnson to the Houston Texans.
The Cardinals couldn't have asked for a better offseason, but it was impossible to fill all their needs in the draft with just six picks. Let's take a look into where Arizona missed in the draft and how the Cardinals can improve those areas before the season starts.
1. Lack of presence at tight end
Perhaps Kliff Kingsbury's offense doesn't factor the tight end position as prevalent as other teams, but the Cardinals are lacking at the position regardless. Maxx Williams is the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart, showcasing how much Arizona needs to improve there. Williams isn't a bad player, but it would help for the Cardinals to have other options.
Cole Kmet went off the board earlier than expected and Arizona passed Adam Trautman and other tight ends that went in the back half of Round 3. Hard to blame Arizona when Josh Jones was sitting there at No. 72, an immense opportunity to solidify the tackle position.
There are free agent options for Arizona to improve here. Delanie Walker is an intriguing option, but he's 36 years old and may not have the speed to be successful after ankle problems have haunted him the past two years. Arizona could always bring back Charles Clay (the Cardinals' leading tight end in receiving yards last season), but that doesn't necessarily improve the position. Tight end may have to be on the back-burner until 2021.
2. Still need to add to the pass rush
Rashard Lawrence should be a solid run-stopping defensive tackle, but he doesn't add to Arizona's need to get to the quarterback. Perhaps the Cardinals can use Simmons as an extra pass rusher at times. He may be more valuable in dime packages as a coverage linebacker -- remember, Simmons can also play cornerback and safety.
Credit to the Cardinals to improving their run defense (24th in 2019) with Lawrence and Leki Fotu, even though the pass rush hasn't improved. Arizona could use an extra edge rusher to pair with Chandler Jones, as the Cardinals were only tied for 17th in the league with 40 sacks last season.
Fortunately for Arizona, there are several good edge rushers available. Arizona has just $8,972,902 in available cap space (per Over The Cap), so the top options of Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen are likely out.
3. What about the interior of the offensive line?
The Cardinals did their job by beefing up the protection for Kyler Murray with Jones in Round 3, even though they didn't add a guard in the draft. Arizona does need to get younger at that position with Justin Pugh (29) and J.R. Sweezy (30) starting, and the depth behind them needs to be improved. Perhaps one of the offensive linemen the Cardinals signed in the undrafted free agent class will pan out (Penn State's Steven Gonzalez is an intriguing option) as the free agent guard options are thin.