Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has let it be known that the Arizona Cardinals are enamored with quarterback Baker Mayfield
Will the Arizona Cardinals draft a quarterback in the first round, or won’t they? That’s been a burning question around league circles for quite some time now. There’s one very respected pundit who is claiming to know exactly what’s going on in the minds of the Cardinals’ brass.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King is reporting that Arizona is preparing to be extremely aggressive come Thursday night. The well-known NFL writer believes that the Cards are targeting Baker Mayfield to be their franchise signal-caller. In fact, King’s proclamation that the club “doesn’t like Baker Mayfield, they love him” is garnering attention just hours before the 2018 draft.
To have any chance of landing the Oklahoma product, general manager Steve Keim is going to need to move up. The targeted slot, according to King, is the number-five overall selection currently owned by the Denver Broncos. Jumping up 10 spots (the Cardinals are sitting at #15 at the moment) would require some major compensation.
Such a move is also based on the belief that Broncos general manager John Elway isn’t also coveting a young passer for his team. Denver did sign free agent Case Keenum, but the journeyman could be looked at as more of a stopgap, than a long-term solution. The 30-year old was signed to just a two-year contract despite having a fantastic campaign for the Minnesota Vikings last year.
Any agreement with the Broncos will not be consummated until Denver is on the clock during the first round. One potential pitfall could be the direction that the New York Jets decide to go in. Todd Bowles’ squad has already traded up to the third-overall slot, and could very well grab Mayfield for themselves.
Pulling off this type of draft-day bonanza would be a great thing for Keim. Acquiring Mayfield, an intriguing gunslinger, would bring some much-needed excitement to the desert. There’s at least one revered football writer who thinks that there’s a good chance of that happening.