Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws a pass in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cards Best Course of Action Should They Choose to Draft a Quarterback


Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger (8) watches from the sidelines against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the NFL is a quarterback centered league. Few teams rack up respectable win totals without a decent signal caller, and few teams that don’t have elite quarterbacks can be counted as contenders.

Take the Arizona Cardinals for example. In 2012, a severe lack of QB performance led to a 5-11 season. After trading for quarterback Carson Palmer, the Cards doubled their win total to ten. Of course, it’s not only because of Palmer, but the improvement at the position was a contributing factor. While Palmer is the quarterback of today, the Cards need a quarterback for tomorrow.  Palmer may only have a couple
more years left in the tank, so the Cardinals should be seeking an heir apparent.

The upcoming draft may be a good place to start. The Cards, with the 20th pick, aren’t likely to get the more highly viewed prospects like
Bridgewater or Manziel. However, there’s still a decent group of rookie QBs behind them.

But how should Steve Keim and Co. approach this? The first thing to consider is whether the Cards should use their first round pick to get
their guy.

While I’m not going to say it would be the worst idea ever, the answer is probably not. The Cards should use their first round pick to fill
a more urgent need, and there’s no prospect likely to be on the board when they pick that is a sure-enough thing. Blake Bortles is regarded among the better QBs, but it’s more likely he will get taken before Arizona can grab him .

Derek Carr is another name that comes to mind, but again, it may not be the best idea to take a player who will sit on the bench for a couple of years and may or may not be successful when he takes the reins.

If the Cards
do not take a QB in round 1, there’s two names that stick out. The first is AJ
McCarron. McCarron was very successful at Alabama, however, he had an excellent team around him. McCarron can make it as an average starter in the NFL , but he’s not a fit for AZ. He’s not a gunslinger and he’s not quite Arians’ type.

The second is Zach Mettenberger. Mettenberger performed well for LSU until he tore his ACL, from which he is still recovering. He’s a better
suitor for the Cards offense. He’s good in the pocket and has a powerful arm. He has flaws. He tends to stare down recovers and doesn’t have the best footwork. Still, he’s got the right blend of skills that Arians can mold and refine into a successful NFL quarterback.

There are other options. Logan Thomas recently worked out for Arians, but Mettenberger looks like the Cardinals best
option as their QB of the future. at least in this years crop.

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  • TommyT

    Mettenburger in the 2nd/3rd or Murray/Savage in later rounds. In all actuality, next year is the draft of the QB’s