What did the Cardinals do in the way of improving their offensive line?
In short form, not much. With what was such a glaring weakness for the Cardinals in 2018, I'm beyond surprised to see that there wasn't much focus on improving the OL in the offseason. I understand the allure of focusing on a guy like Murray in the first round, but I do feel like they could have used that #1 pick far more strategically. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but the move from Rosen to Murray feels awfully lateral, as Rosen was a rookie last year with an abysmal supporting case. It would be hard to expect anyone in that position to thrive, and I don't think Murray will this year, despite the raw talent he possesses. They did sign Marcus Gilbert, a solid O-lineman, but I simply don't see one player making a big enough difference. I would have liked to see some more moves to improve QB protection.
What can we expect from the Cardinals' defense in 2019?
By most accounts, the Cardinals were a middle-of-the-road team defensively in 2018. If you look at the equation of a terrible offense put together with a mediocre defense, it's no wonder the Cardinals finished just 3-13. If the defense has any hope of improving in 2019, it will first rely on the continued strong production from OLB Chandler Jones and CB Patrick Peterson. If either of these guys has an off-year, the minor tweaks the Cardinals made on the defensive side of things will undoubtedly fall by the wayside. The pressure will be especially heavy on Patrick Peterson, who has been suspended for the first six games of the season for violating the NFL's PED policy. Brandon Williams will likely step into the role for those six games. After a brief stint testing the free-agency waters, Rodney Gunter didn't receive any solid offers and opted to come back to the Cardinals for his fifth NFL season. He had a breakout season in 2018 and will need to keep that fire going in the 2019 campaign. He's currently listed as RDE.
What are expectations for Kyler Murray going into this season?
At Lineups, we currently have Kyler Murray listed as QB20 in terms of fantasy production. This ranking says it all about the young QB, in my opinion. He's not going to have the worst year of any NFL starting quarterback, but he certainly won't have the best. The Cardinals' talent around Murray will be a huge factor in him having trouble finding success early on. We'll definitely see some nice highlights from Murray to Fitzgerald over the course of the year, but my guess is Murray won't emerge as a top QB in the league until the Cardinals do more upheaval of their offensive depth chart, which will take some time.