With the 2013 NFL Draft still over two months away, all we can do is speculate how the first round will go, particularly with the Arizona Cardinals. We know that the Cards will be looking to improve the offensive line and find a long-term quarterback solution.
Typically, teams will do the latter with an early pick, especially at the top of the draft, but ESPN draft guys Todd McShay and Mel Kiper do not see the Cardinals doing that. Instead, they go with what they haven't done before the first round since Levi Brown in 2007 -- take an offensive lineman.
Both Kiper and McShay project that Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher will be the player takes with the seventh pick in this year's draft.
"This is one of the spots where you could see a QB come off the board, but at this stage a QB taken at No. 7 would be a significant reach. Until we see major strides by one of the QB options, Arizona is better off adding a key piece it can start right away and looking for a QB in Round 2, or trading up into the late first. And remember, the Cardinals may have moved on a QB in free agency or via a trade by April. Fisher isn't a big name, but he's as a good as any tackle in this class outside of Joeckel. Arizona was a train wreck at tackle for much of 2012, and even with some young guys on the roster, they need to consider a better option if available."
"The Cardinals have a glaring need at quarterback, and with new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians bringing a vertical attack to Arizona that makes NC State QB Mike Glennon the best fit there. But he might not be worth the pick. The Cards' No. 2 need is at offensive tackle, and Fisher has the feet, length and balance to move into the starting role at left tackle. That would allow aging, injury-riddled Levi Brown to move to the right side, where he is a better fit."
What is the most interesting thing about the Kiper mock draft? He doesn't have a single quarterback going in the first round, believing there will be a run at the top of the second round.
McShay has Geno Smith going one pick after the Cardinals.
McShay's logic behind the pick is a little flawed, though, even if the pick is acceptable. Moving Levi Brown to right tackle would take Bobby Massie out of the lineup, and he was fantastic the last half of the season. Plus, while Brown is getting older, I wouldn't call him injury-riddled. Aside from last season, he has been the epitome of durability.
Fisher to the Cards? Doesn't look like a bad pick. But if Geno Smith is available, would he be a better pick? You tell us.
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