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2015 NFL Mock Draft: Cardinals plug middle with Jordan Phillips

With one key lineman leaving in free agency, the Cardinals plug another one right in with their first round pick.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals were the hottest team in football early on in the 2014 season, jumping out to a 9-1 record under quarterback Carson Palmer but losing five of their last seven contests, including a playoff game in Carolina. Though much of Arizona's talented defense returns, the front seven has a number of issues with the departure of Darnell Dockett and the suspension of inside linebacker Daryl Washington.

On offense, Arizona has found some talent at receiver in Michael Floyd and the young speedster John Brown, but Larry Fitzgerald is slowing down considerably. And while the offensive line has been retooled somewhat in free agency with the addition of Mike Iupati, the running back corps is less than impressive. Arizona seems likely to find a new back somewhere in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Making the picks for the Cardinals in the APC Mock Draft is Josh VanDyke, and with the 24th pick, he has selected...

Jordan Phillips, defensive tackle, Oklahoma

Height: 6'5"
Weight: 329 pounds
Combine bench press: 28 reps

Here's Josh to explain:

The Cardinals have moved on from the Darnell Dockett era and are looking to add some pass rushers to the defensive line. Phillips would be an excellent fit into Arizona’s attacking philosophy with his quick burst and powerful playing style.

Phillips uses his frame and long arms (34 ¾ inches) well and often plays with a low pad level for a nose tackle of his height and size. He has displayed the ability to use other pass rush moves (such as a swim move) and not just rely on his upper body strength to bull rush people. His ability to consistently give great effort will be the difference in whether he is a Pro Bowl nose tackle or just another guy on the roster.

Pick Team Player Position School
1 TB Jameis Winston QB Florida State
2 TEN Leonard Williams DT USC
3 JAX Amari Cooper WR Alabama
4 OAK Randy Gregory OLB/DE Nebraska
5 WAS Dante Fowler, Jr. OLB Florida
6 NYJ Marcus Mariota QB Oregon
7 CHI Vic Beasley OLB Clemson
8 ATL Brandon Scherff OT Iowa
9 NYG Kevin White WR West Virginia
10 STL La'el Collins OT LSU
11 MIN DeVante Parker WR Louisville
12 CLE Danny Shelton DT Washington
13 NO Trae Waynes CB Michigan State
14 MIA Marcus Peters CB Washington
15 SF Malcom Brown DT Texas
16 HOU Landon Collins S Alabama
17 SD T.J. Clemmings OL Pittsburgh
18 KC Andrus Peat OT Stanford
19 CLE (from BUF) Ereck Flowers OT Miami (FL)
20 PHI Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State
21 CIN D.J. Humphries OT Florida
22 PIT Dorial Green-Beckham WR Missouri
23 DET Todd Gurley RB Georgia
24 ARI Jordan Phillips DT Oklahoma
25 CAR