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Kiper mock 3.0: Thoughts on Cardinals

Mel Kiper's second mock draftInsider for 2011 provides the foundation for discussing how NFC West teams might proceed this offseason.

I'll conclude with a look at his plans for the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the No. 5 overall choice.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

Kiper's give: I'm sticking with this selection from the last mock. Joey Porter won't be back, and Miller would represent an immediate pass-rushing upgrade on the edge of Arizona's 3-4 scheme. Miller, who has come a long way since a junior year in which he was considered mainly a sack artist, could certainly provide a pass-rushing presence for the Cardinals, but also has a great deal of athleticism and should hold up for three downs in this system.

Sando's take: The decision became relatively straightforward in Kiper's third mock because the top two quarterbacks were unavailable. Kiper had Blaine Gabbert going first overall to Carolina. He had Cam Newton going fourth to Cincinnati. The Cardinals need young legs and pass-rush ability at outside linebacker. They have a new defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, who wants to bring pressure. Arizona could do worse than getting the highest-rated pass-rusher in the draft, if that is indeed how Miller should be viewed. The Cardinals have primary needs throughout much of their roster, so they can feel good about taking a best-player-available approach.