I've been kicking this around for a few weeks, and now that the trade deadline is fast approaching I'll ask the questions. Should Larry Fitzgerald be traded? The Arizona Cardinals are in a rebuild mode, no matter what the organization says. They have holes to fill at QB, LOT, OLB, TE, and SS. Additionally, they need to think of finding an heir to Darnell Dockett as well as an upgrade across from Patrick Peterson so that adds DT and CB to the list. Not to mention that if the team does trade away Fitz, a hole at WR.
So, lets count up the needs as 5 and the nice to haves as 2. We won't include the WR value of 1. That's seven picks, and yes, I know the Cards get seven picks. However aside from the few gems, finding a game changer the deeper into the draft one heads is exponentially less likely.
Of the five needs, the SS position in the draft looks weak for prospects and as a Card I wouldn't look to make an impact in the draft there. But make no bones about it the Cards need to find a hard-hitting, wide ranging safety that can trail the new wave of TE and lay the wood or make the big play on the ball. The first 7 games of the season have shown every fan as much, see Yeremiah Bell.
The LOT position worries me as the few available prospects are likely to be snatched up before the Cards make it to the clock. Anyone past Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan has flaws and I question their ability to step in day one to play. Of them are Cameron Erving and Antonio Richardson who posses great size and have great feet, allowing them to contend with quicker pass rushers. The knock on Erving is his experience, while Richardson has given up a big play or more against pass rushers from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. That makes them projects rather than plug and play players.
Then there is James Hurst, the guy who played next to currently injured 1st round pick Jonathan Cooper. Hurst has nice feet but is light at only 305 pounds and after watching Bradley Sowell get pushed around I wonder if Hurst has the bulk and strength to step in and handle the NFL bull rushers.
QB has promise, but once again there are only a few "can't miss" prospects, of which Johnny Manziel is not on the list. I'm sure Johnny Football will make some team happy at their ability to take him in the draft, I just wouldn't be the team if I were the Cards.
Moving past my Manziel statement leads me to one QB I'm sold on, Teddy Bridgewater. He and Marcus Mariota are hot commodities right now and won't be around when the Cards pick unless they move up. Also atop the list of hot QB prospects is Brett Hundley who has all the physical tools but would still be a project from the first round. While a project, he's also likely to be gone when the Cards draft.
A big bodied QB that looks to fit Bruce Arians scheme and who might be available is LSU QB Zach Mettenberger who has the physical tools but needs to improve on the technique, footwork and accuracy. However, is a project at QB where the Cards want to spend their 1st round pick?
If an LT and a QB are out of reach without trading up, that leaves OLB. One name being associated with the Cards at this time is Khalil Mack who has good size and motor. Mack looks to be a complete player, is a senior and has quality production. This pick looks to be one that could step in right away and contribute.
In review the Cards, if the season were to end today would be in a position to fill the OLB need, but would still have glaring holes at QB and OLT. This is where the Fitzgerald trade comes in. Is Larry right now worth a pair on 2nds and a pair of 3rds? More? Less?
Can the Cards move Fitz to gain traction on the rebuild, netting the OLB, LOT and QB of the future?