TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Arizona Cardinals coach Steve Wilks tried to pick out his roster's most glaring holes recently, it took him a moment to settle on an answer.
"It is tough to say because there are so many areas that we can improve on," Wilks said initially.
But Wilks was able to pick one.
"I think the No. 1 thing is, when you have a franchise quarterback, as we do in Josh [Rosen], in my opinion, you have to do a great job of protecting him," Wilks said. "I think it starts up front with the offensive line."
When it comes time for Wilks and general manager Steve Keim to take a deep dive into the roster following the franchise's first 10-loss season since 2012, he'll find a team riddled with holes -- some gaping -- and severe needs.
Fortunately for Wilks and Keim, the Cardinals will be picking at or near the top of this year's NFL draft.
The Cardinals are currently projected to have the first overall pick in April, according to the ESPN NFL Football Power Index. If the season ended today, however, they'd own the No. 2 pick.
While fixing problems on the offensive line will be a must for the Cardinals this offseason, when it comes to the draft, they might be better suited to fix one of their other needs, ESPN NFL Insider Todd McShay said.
How many offensive linemen are worthy of being a top-five pick?
"None," McShay said. "I say that, but I also think you get to six or seven to 15 and I think there are two or three guys that are worthy of it.
"To me, if you're taking a player on the offensive side with the first five picks you're probably reaching a little bit because you have a need on that side of the ball."
Here's a look at the Cardinals' most pressing needs and possible fits for them in the 2019 NFL draft:
Offensive line: The offensive line has been a mess this year, but the Cardinals could have three returning starters back from injured reserve in 2019 -- center A.Q. Shipley, right guard Justin Pugh and left tackle D.J. Humphries. It's expected that Korey Cunningham will be the starting right tackle next year, leaving left guard as the lone question mark on the line. Mike Iupati is in the final year of his contract, and it's conceivable the Cardinals part ways with him and try to find his replacement this offseason. That could come in the draft but probably not until Day 2 or Day 3. However, this is where having the first pick could benefit the Cardinals. With Mississippi junior tackle Greg Little having declared for the draft, he becomes the top-ranked lineman on the board. The Cardinals could trade back to get Little, who could potentially replace Humphries after 2019 or start at right tackle instead of Cunningham, and add picks in later rounds and years to keep bolstering the roster.
Cornerback: There has been a long list of corners who have gone through the turnstile opposite Patrick Peterson since the team parted ways with Jerraud Powers after the 2015 season. Arizona is already on its third this season, David Amerson, after cutting both previous starters, Jamar Taylor and Bene Benwikere. They have tried seven players opposite Peterson in two years. Finding a stable corner to play with Peterson would make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. But like offensive tackle, drafting a corner first overall doesn't seem likely. The best corner available is LSU's Greedy Williams. McShay believes he could be around at No. 5, which could allow the Cardinals to trade back with enough confidence he will still be there. "I think teams typically want to get somebody who can rush the passer or protect the passer or a quarterback," McShay said. "If they can get one in the top five. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he was there at five."
Wide receiver: This is the trickiest of the Cardinals' needs. There's no denying how desperate Arizona is to add depth and talent to their receiving corps, regardless of if Larry Fitzgerald retires. Behind him, the Cardinals have Christian Kirk, Chad Williams and J.J. Nelson. All are around the same size, leaving the Cardinals without a big, tall, physical receiver, a la Michael Floyd. That's the type of receiver the Cardinals need, but there aren't any in this year's draft who are worthy of being the No. 1 pick or going in the top five, McShay said. The best big receiver in this year's class is Arizona State's N'Keal Harry. McShay thinks Harry will end up going in the first round because of his playmaking ability, which could allow the Cardinals to move back and go after him.
Defensive tackle: Once a strong suit of the Cardinals, the defensive line has been a liability this season. And with how deep this year's draft class is at defensive tackle, the Cardinals could find a franchise player early among the top few picks. Former first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche and Corey Peters are the only two defensive tackles under contract for next year. Rodney Gunter is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and Olsen Pierre, who was put on IR a week ago with a knee injury, is scheduled to be a restricted free agent. In Houston's Ed Oliver, the Cardinals could get the top-rated defensive tackle in this year's class. Oliver wouldn't raise eyebrows if the Cardinals took him No. 1 -- or No. 2, if that's where they end up.
Pass-rusher: If there's a no-brainer No. 1 pick in this year's class, it's Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. Michigan's Rashan Gary could be a close second. The Cardinals already have one of the best edge rushers in the NFL in Chandler Jones, and with Markus Golden in the final year of his rookie contract, the allure of Bosa could be too great for Arizona to pass up, which would likely mean they'll part ways with Golden. But having a dynamic pair of edge rushers could be an important part of Arizona's defensive success in the future. "Maybe you just take [Bosa] and you just make him fit," McShay said. "You make him work."