The Arizona Cardinals can certainly be considered one of the league’s up-and-coming franchises with the 2019-20 campaign now a thing of the past and the 2020-21 season looming closer and closer by the day. With soon-to-be second-year NFL head coach Kliff Kingsbury paired with former No. 1 overall pick and Cardinals quarterback of the future Kyler Murray going forward, it is now up to the Arizona front office to build around the Heisman Trophy-winning signal caller.
With the Cardinals picking at No. 8 overall in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Arizona will have an immediate opportunity to build around Murray and company. However, the Cardinals will also need to focus on free agency this offseason — especially if the NFC West franchise is going to compete with the rest of the division in 2020-21.
Kenyan Drake, RB
Although the Arizona Cardinals can begin to build around soon-to-be second-year quarterback Kyler Murray starting with the 2020 NFL Draft, the former Oklahoma Sooners standout will need more than that to get this team over the hump. As a result, the Cardinals should make it a priority to retain free agent running back Kenyan Drake this offseason.
With Drake finally receiving the opportunity to thrive in the desert after being acquired via midseason trade from the Miami Dolphins, the Cardinals could use this veteran rusher’s services once again next season. With oft-injured running back David Johnson locked up already, the Cardinals should consider Drake as an option but shouldn’t break the bank to keep him around.
Logan Ryan, CB
As longtime Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson continues to grow older, the NFC West franchise will need a new leader at the postion soon. With Peterson possessing just one more season on his current contract with the Cardinals, Arizona should look into signing former New England Patriots cornerback and Tennessee Titans standout Logan Ryan.
With Ryan potentially playing alongside Peterson in 2020-21, the Super Bowl Champion defensive back could then replace his positional counterpart as the team’s top cornerback after the year ends. Not only that, but perhaps the Cardinals can create one of the best tandems of veteran cornerbacks in the NFL if the team is willing to spend big.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE
Perhaps this doesn’t fall under the “underrated” category, but every team in the NFL needs a top-notch pass rusher — the Arizona Cardinals included. With that being said, the Cardinals to try to kill two birds with one stone in regards to longtime Houston Texans pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney — sign an elite defender and pry loose a talented player from the rival Seattle Seahawks, who notably acquired the former No. 1 overall pick via trade from the aforementioned Texans last offseason.
One of the few issues here would be that Clowney is no doubt going to have more than a few suitors this offseason while it remains to be seen as to whether or not the Cardinals will be in prime position to win right away next season. Additionally, Clowney certainly won’t come cheap as the Cardinals could ultimately attempt to secure a young pass rusher by way of the 2020 NFL Draft — in the first round and beyond.