The season is over, the coaching staff is gone and the Cardinals are, as of right now, left in shambles. They have no quarterback, which is one of the biggest positions they will need to address this offseason. That could come via the draft, free agency, or internally.
The SB Nation national page has already begun the process of mock drafting players to each and every team in the NFL. We now know the order in which every team will pick up through the 20th pick, so that has helped to clear things up a little. The Cardinals have the seventh overall pick, which they can do a variety of things with.
Writer Dan Kadar, who also manages Mocking the Draft, our excellent draft site in the SB Nation network, believes that the Cards choose to address their quarterback conundrum by selecting USC quarterback Matt Barkley with their first round pick.
Barkley is an intriguing prospect, there is no doubting that. Although USC did not fare as well as they likely should have this season after starting out ranked as the #1 team, only part of the blame can be placed on Barkley's shoulders. The team has an inept coaching staff and simply did not mesh well together. But enough of SC. Let's look at Barkley a bit.
With the new coaching staff and general manager being ushered in, it is impossible to know whether they will stick to how the team has drafted over the past few years by selecting the best player available or if they will opt to choose based on need. I would lean towards the former, but I simply do not know. If they choose based on need, Barkley could be the pick. Here is what Kadar has to say about the possible selection:
Much like (Geno) Smith probably isn't worth the top pick, this is high for Barkley. When there is a team in need, quarterbacks get overvalued dramatically, and that's the case here. The Cardinals need to take a chance on a first-round quarterback after passing over top signal callers the past two years. The Cardinals unsuccessfully gambled on Matt Leinart in 2006, but it's time to gamble on a USC quarterback again. Don't be surprised if Tyler Wilson of Arkansas gets a long look here as well.
Cardinals fans are weary of USC quarterbacks after selecting Matt Leinart with the 10th overall pick back in 2007. He has gone on to be a bust in the league. Then again, we are all pretty hungry for a quarterback ever since Kurt Warner left following the 2009 season.
It may be a bit unfair to say that Barkley is "injury prone" but he certainly has had rough luck with injuries this season. The last thing the Cardinals need is another quarterback that is always on the sidelines.
I personally do not see this being the pick, nor do I like it. I would prefer the team just stick with Kevin Kolb this season, as none of the quarterbacks in this class are elite like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were coming out of the draft last year. There are too many other holes the Cards can fill with such a high pick, such as offensive line help or a premiere pass rusher. So for me, I would easily pass on Barkley.
What do you all think? Will/should Barkley be the pick for the Cards at #7? Tell us in the comments section below.