Around the NFC West: 'Elite' Levi Brown

The Arizona Cardinals hoped they were drafting an elite left tackle when they selected Levi Brown with the fifth pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Around the NFC West: March 22, 2013

New coach Bruce Arians thinks that is what the Cardinals got.

Arians recently pointed to Brown's return from triceps surgery as a key to the Cardinals' line for 2013.

"We have an elite player that was out and once we put that elite left tackle in, everything is better [on the line]," Arians said from the NFL owners meetings this week.

Brown has been one of the more scrutinized and criticized players on the Cardinals' roster in recent seasons. He was once an alternate to the Pro Bowl, but I cannot recall anyone before Arians using the word "elite" to describe him as an NFL left tackle. The standard for left tackle play in the NFC West is high; every other starting left tackle in the division has been to the Pro Bowl.

Beyond Brown, Arians sees young tackles Nate Potter and Bobby Massie as having the flexibility to play guard if needed there. And he said the 2013 draft is one of the strongest for offensive linemen that he can recall, putting the Cardinals in good position to enhance their line with college talent.

"The injuries that occurred forced a lot of guys to play and once you get the group back, I think we are maybe one player from [having] one hell of an offensive line with good depth and position flexibility," Arians said.