There’s been growing talk in the desert that the Arizona Cardinals may look to select a quarterback in the first round of the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. The reasoning here is simple. Arizona needs to find an eventual heir apparent to 37-year-old signal caller Carson Palmer.
Remember, it was just a couple short months ago that the Cardinals weren’t sure whether Palmer would return for his fifth season with the team.
Now, with Palmer committed to playing in 2017, Arizona’s focus has turned to finding a potential long-term replacement for the veteran.
Interestingly enough, that might not actually come through the draft itself.
“I think this team especially has proven you don’t necessarily need to draft a quarterback,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said recently, via the Sporting News. “If you look at how we acquired Carson and Kurt Warner, there are still some quarterbacks out there. If you have a great coaching staff you can find a great quarterback out there, maybe somebody that everybody has looked over and looked past.”
On the surface, this seems to be a bit absurd. We’ve seen just how poorly teams have done attempting to build with veteran castoffs from other squads. In reality, the free-agent and trade markets for starter-caliber quarterbacks with pro experience continues to be limited.
Then again, the Cardinals themselves have not necessarily struck gold when it comes to drafting potential franchise quarterbacks. Their recent list of draftees at this position includes Logan Thomas, Ryan Lindley, John Skelton and Matt Leinart. Thomas is the only one that remains in the NFL, and he’s a tight end for the Buffalo Bills.
Picking 13th overall in next month’s draft, Arizona will likely have an opportunity to select one of the top-end quarterback prospects in what has to be considered a mediocre draft at that position. If not, it will surely be kicking this problem down the road.
Coming off a seven-win season that saw them miss the playoffs, the Cardinals need to be thinking of a future without Carson Palmer. Unfortunately, it appears the team isn’t prepared to come to that conclusion.