Arizona Cardinals could be stuck in a Catch-22 with division rival on draft day
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals could be stuck in an unwinnable situation on draft day with the Seattle Seahawks, despite holding the third overall pick.
Over the past week, prospect Anthony Richardson had, predictably in my opinion, a legendary pro day. I say predictably, because these workouts are supposed to make high-end prospects look elite, and that’s what occurred with the overrated Richardson.
Despite my chosen adjective, Richardson could thrive in the NFL if given time to sit for (at least) a season. And since I used similar terminology like overrated to describe Patrick Mahomes once upon a time, well, yeah, the rest is budding history, as Mahomes could surpass Tom Brady in the G.O.A.T rankings a decade (or later) from today.
And since the Seattle Seahawks have a viable but aging quarterback in Geno Smith, they could easily select Richardson, sit him for a season or two, and bam, the kid exceeds the increasingly wild expectations bestowed upon him despite his overall lack of experience and so-so productivity as a passer.
This is bad news if you’re the Arizona Cardinals, and it’s a classic Catch-22. What is a Catch-22? A situation where, no matter what happens, you can’t win. So let me explain how the Seahawks may be trapping the Cardinals in one, even if they don’t land Richardson.
Are the Arizona Cardinals in an unwinnable situation in the 2023 Draft?
Suppose the Cardinals find a trade partner in the Indianapolis Colts. Even if the Cardinals traded to the fourth overall pick and the Colts drafted Anthony Richardson, Seattle could now draft a more NFL-ready prospect in Will Levis at fifth overall.
Of course, if the Cardinals traded with either the Las Vegas Raiders or the Atlanta Falcons, the same thing applies, and Seattle will get their quarterback, and probably a good one, regardless of whether they land Richardson or Levis. In fact, the Cards could be even worse off if the Seahawks drafted Levis simply because he has a much better chance to succeed as a pro if thrust into action early.
Having played at the University of Kentucky, Levis didn’t have as much NFL-caliber talent around him. He also played plenty of teams with NFL-ready players all over the roster, including Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Georgia, plus a 12th-ranked Florida Gators team, in 2022.
He also had to play a 10th-ranked Florida Gators team, plus number one Georgia in 2021 as well. To end the season, Levis played (and beat) 15th-ranked Iowa. Not bad for a kid who came from what is a mid-major SEC program.
Overall, it doesn’t matter who the Seahawks end up taking fifth overall and it also doesn’t matter whether it’s Levis or Richardson. They could land a franchise quarterback for the next decade regardless of what the Cardinals do and who the Redbirds ultimately trade with.
The remedy for Arizona? Draft a marquee pass rusher and hope you can also get a viable cornerback in this year’s class. Get ready to face either Richardson or Levis, because one of them will be playing you twice a year in the future barring something unforeseen.
(Information provided by Sports-Reference/CFB and ESPN.com)