AJ McCarron has had a stellar career with Alabama. Say what you will; he has lead his team to multiple championships. It's time for him to come to another 'A' state and wear another color red.
The Arizona Cardinals have done a great job this offseason fielding a team, who can challenge for a championship, with their free agency moves. Of course, we want them to put some icing on that cake and strengthen the team in the draft. However, it may be necessary for the Cardinals to look to the future as well. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are, for all intensive purposes, on the last year of their contracts along with Dockett.
I started the offseason not wanting to look at the quarterback position. The interest and intrigue as heated up though and I started wondering; what happens to the Cardinals draft, where they have 6 picks, if they chose a quarterback in this years draft. Let's look at needs and quarterbacks round by round.
The consensus needs for the cardinals are starting D-Line, starting Strong Safety, starting RT, TE depth, and Inside Linebacker depth. With 6 picks and 5 needs, the Cardinals have an open pick to burn on a QB and that is the premiss of this post.
Possible first round quarterbacks for the Cardinals: Manziel, Bortles, Carr, Bridgewater.
The Cardinals will likely look at D-Line or Strong Safety in the first round; maybe a guy like Hageman, Tuitt or Donald on the Dline and Clinton-Dix, Pryor or Bucannon at Safety. Which one of the first round quarterbacks will tempt the Cardinals to draft for the future instead ? Personally, I'd ignore the quarterback position in the first round and if I was going to burn a pick here; it will be on the boom or bust Manziel.
Possible 2nd round quarterbacks for the Cardinals: AJ McCarron, Zach Mettenberger.
The Cardinals may look at D-Line again, Strong Safety and Right Tackle in the 2nd round. Guys like Bucannon, Bailey, Loston, Richardson, Koujo, James, Moses, Easley, Ferguson. There are a lot of different directions they can go in the 2nd round. Will any of these 2nd round QB's tempt them ? I'd go McCarron here and not think twice.
Possible 3rd round quarterbacks for the Cardinals: Aaron Murray, Jimmy Garappolo
The direction of this round definitely depends on the first two rounds. Let's assume the Cardinals have successfully navigated the first two rounds and drafted a D-Lineman and a Strong Safety. That means Right Tackle, Tight End, and Inside Linebacker are still in play here.
A starting Right Tackle will really have to slip to be available to the Cardinals in the 3rd so I am going to say that it's ILB or TE here. Guys like Niklas, Fiedorowicz, Borland, Bradford, Jones and Skov will likely be available to the Cardinals. Any of these 3rd round quarterbacks worth taking over those guys ? I don't think so.
Possible 4th round quarterbacks for the Cardinals: Logan Thomas, Tahj Boyd
Here is where it gets interesting. Due to the number of Inside linebackers available in the 3rd round; I'm going to assume the Cardinals filled their Inside Linebacker depth need. Having filled the needs at Dline, ILB and SS; only TE and RT remain. If I seen the future and can tell you with 100% certainty that the offseason signings of Ballard and Carlson as well as a breakout year for Housler and Bobbie Massie dominates the competition at the RT spot; do the Cardinals go for the biscuit here and draft a project like Thomas or Boyd ? Thomas is the obvious choice here and at an affordable spot for the Cardinals.
Possible 5th round quarterbacks for the Cardinals: Tom Savage, David Fales, Stephen Morris, Bryan Renner
In this scenario, the draft and offseason signings have furnished all of The Cardinals needs at this point. This scenario assumes that the Cardinals did not draft a QB yet. The Cardinals and have an opportunity to take some flyers at the quarterback position, running back position and tight end positions. Do any of these quarterbacks peak your interest ? I'm not sure any are better than Ryan Lindley and will look to go another direction. If I had to choose one; it will probably be Stephan Morris who is extremely underdeveloped and a 3 year project.
Possible 6th round quarterbacks for the Cardinals: None.
May as well keep Ryan Lindley and not burn a draft pick here.
I have my favorite quarterback in this class going in round 2. What is yours ? What round do you want The Cardinals to take a quarterback ?