Much has been made for the Cardinals to draft a quarterback this year, as THIS is the year to get one, but should it be? Let's be honest, do the Cardinals really feel the urge to put their name to a certain quarterback for 2017 early?
To me, I don't think you must use a first or second day selection to solidify the position, but could find a decent one in the latter rounds or next year. Let’s take a look at the late round possibilities for this year, while I use my tunnel vision to view next year’s possibilities.
1. What does this year’s draft look like?
It starts with a fabled four:
1. Deshaun Watson from Clemson.
2. Patrick Mahomes II from Texas Tech.
3. Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina.
4. DeShone Kizer from Notre Dame.
We all assume that the Cardinals are 'considering' one of these prospects, but in a very weak class, they are the cream of the crop. If I were going off talent alone, and not potential, I think Watson would be the only QB taken in the first round. But that won't happen. All four (maybe five with Davis Webb from California) will probably be selected in the first round. What if the Cardinals don't take one of these guys?
The third round presents two QB's that I find very fathomable for the Cardinals; Nathan Peterman from Pittsburgh and Joshua Dobbs from Tennessee. Both players are good in their own right. However, in my opinion, franchise quarterback doesn't look possible for either player. Peterman is a pocket passer with solid footwork, good mechanics, played in different fronts (from spread to sometimes the pocket), so that could work in his favor. The fact that some have compared him to Kirk Cousins works for him, but do you take him for comparisons sake? Nope.
Joshua Dobbs is the quarterback that has overcome adversity, someone who played in multiple fronts also (like Peterman), and could be the QB you want. The problem is the velocity he places on the ball, sometimes it seems to come up short. To me, he is a gamer, and should be a little higher then Peterman.
From rounds 4-7 (maybe undrafted), you have a slew of QB's, some need development, some need a position change altogether. Brad Kaaya is a good pro-style QB, but didn't show much zip on his ball. I look at C.J. Beathard as the same, I love the competitor, but his arm needs work. Jerod Evans seems more like a full back then a quarterback, and only has one year of experience at Virginia Tech. Chad Kelly and Philip Nelson were usually troubled during their careers, so they need to remain humble and NOT party.
Shall I continue? I will. Alek Torgersen, Brady Gustafson, and Garrett Fugate are small school prospects who haven't proven to be able to throw anything other than fly routes. Seth Russell, Taysom Hill, and Patrick Towles aren't reliable, and seem more injured then not.
Sefo Liufau is a spread QB who seriously needs work on mechanics, almost reminds me of Tim Tebow. Wes Lunt, Mitch Leidner, and Cooper Rush haven't really won any important games, and really need some coaching. My favorite, Jeremy Johnson from Auburn, was a backup for most his career. Trevor Knight was replaced by Baker Mayfield, and some are projecting (because he's 6'1'' 219 pounds) as a slot receiver.
So really, is there a plethora of QB's you want?
2. Next year seems much better.
First, the Cardinals must decide if Carson Palmer and/or Drew Stanton are going to be here after 2017. Will they be able to teach the rookie QB the ropes, or are they going to have to learn on the fly. They might be SOL if they decide to move on. Carson is set to be here until 2018, but why would you stay if Larry Fitzgerald is gone after the season? What do you have as weapons?
But let me tell you, I get EXCITED about next year’s crop, and to me, it doesn't matter where we pick, we could still get a quality quarterback.
Let's start with the seniors next year: The troublemaker Baker Mayfield has an arm, but because he's got himself into legal issues, he could slide to round 3-4. His talent alone is worthy of round 1. Then there is something about Mason Rudolph and Luke Falk, they both possess a very solid base to throw from. Falk is more intriguing to me, as he did show a very strong arm. My last one, J.T. Barrett, should be picked in the same range of Mayfield, not for legal problems, but because he is so RAW.
That's not mentioning others like Malik Zaire of Notre Dame, Max Browne from Pitt, and John O'Korn from Michigan.
Then it comes to the underclassmen, some that are expected to be in a class their own. Returning Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson from Louisville lacks size (6'3" 205 pounds according to ESPN.com), could be the first QB taken because of the dual threat he presents. Then there's the popular pick, Sam Darnold, who seems to be in the mold of a Carson Palmer-esque pocket passer, someone who seemingly makes great throws when he escapes the pocket.
Josh Allen was my favorite for first pick in 2017, but could be the fourth QB taken in 2018. At 6'5'', 225 pounds, Allen has the height, not the resume, that intrigues scouts, and he can make some really tough throws into some tight windows.
I look at Josh Rosen, someone who will need to prove that he can be a consistent thrower at the next level, but might be the most exciting in my mind. If not for his injuries and unorthodox weapons around him, he could over take Darnold and Jackson, until then, he will need some time for development.
Here's who I think could end up in the first round next year:
1. Sam Darnold - Southern California
2. Lamar Jackson - Louisville
3. Luke Falk - Washington State
4. Josh Rosen - UCLA
5. Josh Allen - Wyoming
6. Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State
So Cardinals fans, be patient, if not this year, look forward for a talented crop next year that proves to be much better. Until then, go Cards!