Eagles Focus Mock Draft: Pick 29 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals- C Ryan Kelly (Alabama)

Arizona’s offensive line seems pretty well set except for the center position after the retirement of starter Lyle Sendlein during the offseason.  Former Penn Stater AQ Shipley is penciled in as the starter as it stands right now.  The Cards also added former Eagle Evan Mathis to play the right guard spot further solidifying their line.  Center is a critical position not only for the offensive line, but the entire offense as a whole especially with a veteran group like Arizona has.  Carson Palmer is not getting any younger and poor center play could easily derail the Cards Super Bowl hopes.  Ryan Kelly from Alabama comes from a winning program where he was a three year starter under Nick Saban.  He goes from one football guy in Tuscaloosa to another in Bruce Arians.  Kelly is not the most physically imposing player, but has the grit and toughness which all winning teams need in their interior line play.  Scouts praise the Alabama product for his fluid movement and ability to sustain his pad level while blocking larger opponents.  He was the unquestioned leader for the Crimson Tide up front and many expect a similar transition to the pro level.  The Cowboys surprisingly selected center Travis Frederick from Wisconsin in the first round a few years back and have not regretted that selection.  Kelly is considered undersized and would do well to add some bulk to his frame to hold up over an NFL season.  Larger nose tackles or defensive linemen may overwhelm him initially with power.  The NFL is becoming a faster game year by year and the same can be said for the offensive line play.  I believe Kelly would be a fine selection for Arizona at pick 29 and be the Week 1 starter.


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