Fast-risers at quarterback might make the Arizona Cardinals top pick more valuable

It’s official: On Monday, we learned North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye will enter the 2024 NFL Draft, and it could affect the Arizona Cardinals in a few ways.
Texas A&M v LSU
Texas A&M v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Drake Maye entering the 2024 NFL Draft means there are at least three first-round talents at quarterback guaranteed to be available come April with seniors Jayden Daniels and Michael Penix Jr. already eligible. With the Arizona Cardinals being the only non-quarterback-needy team slated to pick early at the moment, it means general manager Monti Ossenfort could receive phone calls if the Redbirds maintain a high selection.

All signs also point to Caleb Williams entering the draft, and the respected website Tankathon, among others, has Williams going first overall, Maye second overall, and Jayden Daniels sixth overall, but consider three quarterback-needy teams currently slated to pick behind Arizona if all things remain equal from now until Week 18.

  • Washington
  • Las Vegas
  • Atlanta

While it’s true the Cards could win some games and wind up picking later than the quarterback-needy Washington Commanders, it’s also hard to see them falling behind two of those teams listed above. And if the Las Vegas Raiders or Atlanta Falcons see Michael Penix as a future NFL star, they will try talking to the Cards and other teams for a potential trade for the rights to draft him.

Fast-rising quarterbacks could add value to Arizona Cardinals top pick 

Even if one of the above quarterback-needy teams ended up picking right behind the Cardinals, it still doesn’t mean they wouldn’t call Ossenfort even if they believe he will pick someone other than a quarterback. Someone like Las Vegas or Atlanta could offer a deal lucrative enough to leapfrog them and snag the third-best quarterback on the board. 

Therefore, if Washington wanted a quarterback and they picked fourth while the Cards picked third, the Commanders would likely still call Ossenfort. Such a scenario would guarantee Washington would get either Daniels, Maye, or Williams, depending on who goes in the top two assuming they are used on quarterbacks.

This isn’t to say Ossenfort would pull off a trade in such a situation, but looking at the Arizona Cardinals current depth chart, it’s clear it still needs more of an overhaul come the offseason. So if the compensation (like a few draft picks) is right, don’t be surprised if Ossenfort pulled off a trade with a quarterback-needy team. 


(Information provided by Tankathon)