The Arizona Cardinals may look to this coming April’s NFL Draft for the answer to their well-publicized quarterback dilemma
The Arizona Cardinals’ backs are finally up against the wall. Finding the heir-apparent to quarterback Carson Palmer can no longer be put on the backburner. Having not one signal-caller under contract for the upcoming season has made addressing the issue a necessity.
The Cards will most likely sign a free agent passer. Exactly who they acquire will determine how much of a priority the position will be during this April’s NFL Draft. A “bridge” quarterback being brought in to be a temporary fix will almost certainly force Arizona to draft a QB early.
The Cardinals currently hold the 15th pick in the first round of the draft. If they wish to get one of the premium prospects, the organization will most likely need to select higher than that. Moving up in the draft could be a very costly maneuver, one that could cost the franchise multiple picks and/or players.
UCLA’s Josh Rosen could very well be the first quarterback taken. The 6’4″, 210 pounder is considered the most NFL-ready of all the candidates. For the Cards to get up high enough to land Rosen, general manager Steve Keim will need to do some major wheeling and dealing.
Many experts have USC’s Sam Darnold rated either just ahead of Rosen, or right behind him. The 6’4″, 225 pounder has all the tools necessary to be successful in the league. As is the case with Rosen, Arizona will need to acquire a better draft position to land the Trojan.
Wyoming’s Josh Allen is a bit of an enigma. The skill-set and size (6’4″, 237) of the 21-year old have earned him rave reviews among draftniks. However, Allen is considered less-ready than others to start right away, and may benefit from holding a clipboard at the beginning of his career.
Baker Mayfield lacks the ideal size and arm strength that most pro signal-callers possess. Despite the deficiencies, many prognosticators feel that the University of Oklahoma product will flourish. Ironically, it’s the negatives associated with Mayfield that may cause the 6’0″, 216 pounder to drop right into Arizona’s waiting lap.
Mason Rudolph, like Allen, could quite possibly need some time to develop. The Oklahoma State product has great size (6’4″, 229) and decent arm strength, but is not overly athletic. Keim would probably be “reaching” to take Rudolph at #15th-overall, but the 22-year old could be a steal later on in the draft.
There’s mixed opinions on Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. Former NFL general manager Bill Polian feels that the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is best-suited to play wide receiver. Jackson has “project” written all over him, a road that the Cardinals unsuccessfully traveled down before with Logan Thomas.
We’re in for an exciting offseason Cards’ fans. The quarterback question is one that will finally be answered in 2018. The draft may very well be the tool that provides that answer.