Cardinals will draft a QB – unless they don’t

Posted by Darren Urban on February 26, 2016 – 7:50 am

Is there an urgency for the Cardinals to develop a young quarterback, given that starter Carson Palmer is 36 years old? That’s not even a question that needs to be asked at this point. It’s not like the Cards haven’t been talking and thinking about this since Steve Keim and Bruce Arians came into power, though. There was a reason they drafted Logan Thomas in 2014.

So Thomas didn’t work out, and the team traded for Matt Barkley, and at this point, Barkley too is mostly an unknown. He didn’t get any significant practice time in the Cardinals’ offense, and they haven’t seen him in a preseason game. Pinning their hopes on his development — at least, pinning them only on his development — wouldn’t be prudent. The Cardinals probably need to draft a quarterback, and as I sit here in Indianapolis for the current version of the Scouting combine, long before the Cards have had any draft meetings, I will guess they will take one at some point in April.

But it’s not a guarantee. Both Keim and Arians acknowledge the need and importance to obtain a young QB. But both left the door cracked that the Cardinals might not. Keim insists he does not want to force a pick, especially at quarterback. The Cards will scour the background of these second-tier QB hopefuls — like Michigan State’s Connor Cook (pictured below) — knowing the top guys will be gone by the time they draft, and see if one makes sense. If you don’t feel a guy has a legitimate chance to play in the league, it doesn’t make much sense to draft one.

But the search is important. Someone has to play QB when Palmer is done. You’d rather make that decision pro-actively, rather than having it made for you when the time comes.

NFL Combine Football

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37 Responses to “Cardinals will draft a QB – unless they don’t”

  1. By weliveCards on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    We are in a unique situation with Carson Palmer, he is under contract until after 2018. If he wants to stay with the Cardinals till the end of his contract, he will be 39 by the time free agency hits in 2019, and that gives the Cardinals plenty of time to find a replacement at quarterback. The Cardinals would love to see a replacement fairly soon (depending how long Carson has left), but don’t rush it. It’s not a necessity.

  2. By D on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    If the QB from AL is still there in round 5, could be a kid to groom/ compete against Barkley

  3. By Travis on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    I would love to see Cook come in and learn behind Palmer. We are gonna need another Mich St guy backing him up!
    BTW- When did Mich St become such a QB producing hotbed?!

  4. By Scott H on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    I don’t see the team as NEEDING to draft a QB this year. It is not sounding or appearing to me that our QB of the future is out there this year. What I am totally down with is not forcing a pick on a QB. You don’t need to, so….don’t. Although, I’m certainly not opposed to having someone come in here to compete with Barkley.

    Still curious to see what happens with Stanton. IF they plan on keeping him here, they definitely do NOT need to drat a QB this year. IF they plan on keeping Stanton, they may as well just keep Barkley in the fold and move on. I think Barkley is terrible, but….hey, if we re-live the nightmare of losing Palmer AND Stanton, we’re finished anyway. We could always re-sign Lindley, I’m sure he will be available! 🙂

    For what it’s worth, EVERY single Eagles fan I know agrees quite readily with my opinion that Barkley is terrible. NO ONE is sorry he is no longer there. And keep in mind, the Eagles ain’t exactly set at the QB position.

  5. By sportsblogger16 on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    Vernon Adams is the one person that I think should get some thought, but probably wont.

  6. By Eric G on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    I’d love Connor Cook in the second round. Highly doubt he’s there though by the time the Cards pick.

    Would I love him in the first round? Yes, especially if Noah Spence, Shaq Lawson and Leonard Floyd are gone. I’d prefer one of them over Cook.

    Will I still love the pick if Lawson and Floyd are on the board? Yes. We need a QB of the future and Cook has all the tools to be that guy.

  7. By All Day on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    There are two QBs we have a legitimate chance of drafting that I think could be the guy. 1. Connor Cook, He reminds me a lot of Andrew Luck he’s big he’s got a good arm and he’s athletic enough to run when needed. More of a traditional pocket passer but can do it all. His arm isn’t huge but it’s NFL level. Only concern is from what I understand he worked mostly out of the gun (don’t quote me on that) and the other would be he’s been slightly injury prone. The other is Jake Coker, He is a very talented player but only starting for one year has hurt him. He’s got great vision he’s worked out of a pro style offense at Alabama he’s got a great arm and has very good pocket presence. Reminds me of Ben Roethlisberger, Probably looking anywhere between round 4-6 but he knows how to win games and has played in the big ones.

  8. By texascard on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    I used to be kinda broke so I collected cars with a carburetor but I always had to worry about the choke. Now I can afford fuel injection (no choke). I hope our new qb is the latter. Chokes can be so disappointing especially when it matters most.

  9. By Steve on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    I really think that Connor Cook is a real possibility for Keim if he is there at #29 and I think he will be, if we try and wait till the second round to take him, he will be gone by then. I think Cook and Ohio State QB Cardale Jones will tempt the Cards. Cardale Jones has off the charts physical ability but is raw while Cook has drawn some comparisons to Palmer when he came out of USC.

  10. By Edijkstra on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    Is Mike Florio writing your headlines now? Get rid of him.

  11. By Andy Kw on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    Jaylon Smith is a talented LB and if he has to sit out all of 2016 and some of 2017 then so be it. I want the Cardinals to take him.

  12. By georgiebird on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    DB staying at LB is a sad commentary on the state of the Cards’ LB unit.
    1) the Cards can beat most NFL teams with DB as a LB
    2) but the Cards will be hard pressed to beat the top teams with DB at LB

    As I stated before, the Cards goals now are the NFC championship and the SB. If the Cards were a team trying to get to .500, then this decision would have some merit. Fact is, the whole LB unit is way below average- this makes DB look like a pretty good LB but it’s only relatively speaking.
    Cards had the same problem with DWash who was darn good against most teams but not against the top teams. SF and Seattle would run straight at DWash and bury him- his tackles were 5-7 yards after the line.
    Once again, a bad decision for beating the big boy teams.

  13. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: LBs

    It was just reported this morning, as a sign of the times, only three linebackers at the combine weighed 250 pounds. You don’t like it, but it’s not 1983 anymore.

  14. By georgiebird on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    As much as BASK would like to get that franchise QB, it’s more important to get our #1 and #2 draft choices right.
    As I have stated, SK is easily the best GM that the Cards have had. That having been said- SK’s six top draft choices the last three years could very well have cost the Cards a chance at the SB last month.

  15. By CreditCard on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    Trade down … trade down …. trade down.

    This year’s draft only has a handful of true 1st round selections. Projected picks 15 to 90 all have certain good elements to their game along with some kind of wart that goes with it.

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    Here are my thought on the QB situation;

    These teams need a young QB;
    Cleveland, San Diego, Dallas, San Fran, Saints, Eagles, Rams, Jets, Redskins, Texans, AZ, Denver.

    Now, one would think Denver will keep Brock Osweiler and
    The Redskins will keep Cousins.

    That makes Sam Bradford as the top FA QB, provided the Eagles and the new coaching staff don’t keep him (which I think they will)

    Kaepernick could be a huge FA (or trade) but he has a bad name right now.

    So that leaves the disaster known as Johnny Manzeil and RG3. Maybe one of them goes to Dallas, maybe not. The Rams have Nick Foles, but I see them looking to upgrade. So on to the draft.

    So, in the draft, you have Wentz, Goff, Lynch and Cook, who have to pass by several teams to get down to #29.

    Cleveland and their new GM and Coach surely start with a QB. If Dallas passes on a QB (which would be amazing), San Fran takes one. I think the rams take the 3rd QB at 15 and I just cant see how the Texans (who passes on Bortles in round 1 in 2014 and Derek Carr in round 2 of 2014 (that GM should never be allowed to pick ever again) So, I just cant see them passing so #4 goes to the Texans.

    So, unless Arizona trades up, I don’t believe one of the big 4 will be there. If Cook somehow is available, I think Arizona should choose him with #29.

    But, I think all 4 are gone and Az takes Eli Apple – CB. Then they look at Kevin Hogan in round 3-4

  17. By Marlin on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    Drafting and developing QB’s is mostly a losing proposition. To that end, it seems obvious to me that a team like the Cards should try to go get a Kapernick or RG3…..sign him to a reasonable 2 year deal. Back up CP this coming year and become the starter in their 2nd year. Am I nuts? Why don’t we see any articles or speculation about this? For guys like the two I mentioned, it would be great. They get to a winning, positive QB friendly coaching staff and culture. They spend a year learning the system and avoiding the limelight (and maturing within a positive leadership environment). They are an obvious heir apparent with a big opportunity in year 2 to shine as a starter and then sign a big contract. For the Cards, there are so many positives. And we keep Barkley as 3rd QB and develop him further. Maybe he becomes the backup when CP retires. Make any sense at all?

  18. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Kap/RGIII

    If you are those guys, why would you take a “reasonable” deal and sit as a backup when there are teams that likely will pay them and play them?

  19. By Carter Nelson on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    I think if the cards get a good pass rusher, I think that they’ll get Connor cook or a qb in the first round, but if they don’t I think they’ll go with a pass rusher in the first and try to get Dak Prescott

  20. By Marlin on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    Because neither guy is “ready”. They need a little time in a new, positive culture, friendly system. If they start this year and screw up, the mega deal won’t be there down the line. If they take a reasonable deal and start in a year and be more ready to do great things….the mega deal awaits.

  21. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: QBs

    Disagree. Depends on what money they can get, but you can’t get a megadeal sitting on the bench. There’s also no guarantee Palmer just plays one more season.

  22. By bob on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    go for cook in the 2nd round and maybe cardale jones in the 3rd if possible and maybe braxton miller for them to have good targets to throw to and then aft6er get some defense

  23. By hminus on Feb 27, 2016 | Reply

    Lets see what happens in FA first,i would MUCH rather see them pick up a FA QB before late April to take over #2 spot than draft one in later rounds,we have Barkley as #3,(developemental,)and our luck w/FA or trade QB’s is better than our draft history…

  24. By jasonuscg on Feb 28, 2016 | Reply


    I just read your response post and it made me laugh. So here it goes: You were right, the Vaccaro/Collins pick combo has drastically outperformed the Cooper/Minter combo.

    It is still my contention that I wouldn’t trade Mathieu for either of those players and if we take Vaccaro in the 1st we miss out on him so I’m still happy with the draft as a whole.

    I think if you use one word to describe that draft it would be injuries. Cooper while not the player I wanted @7 was looking every bit like the player everyone thought he was in his rookie training camp and pre-seaon, the broken leg now looks like minor injury compared to what it may have done to his confidence/psyche. Minter lost his sophomore years growth/production to the biceps tear. Mathieu has had the two knee injuries and his sophomore season was spent being not himself. Ellington is a playmaker….when healthy, unfortunately he has proven to have durability issues.

    Thank goodness that Keim has shown the ability to find talent everywhere FA, UDFA and the draft to give BA a team to compete with.

  25. By hminus on Feb 28, 2016 | Reply

    As of today,the Colts are telling Matt Hasselbeck to shove off,he is a MUCH betterQB at #2 than Stanton is,(even @ 40,)…60.9% comp.9TD’s to 5 INT’s are good numbers & we should look into possibly acquiring him…

  26. By Scott H on Feb 28, 2016 | Reply

    Wow, I really can’t believe anyone could think either Kap or RGIII could be our “answer” at QB. Different eyes see different things, I guess. 2015 was a year completely devoid of RGIII. Though apparently physically capable of playing, the Redskins wanted no part of him. Trust me – they DO know something we don’t know. I’ll be the first to say I think Shannahan did a lousy job or managing RGIII after that rookie season. But Shannahan is a few years removed from the Redskins at this point. His absence made things no better for Griffin.

    Too many people have expressed opinions that RGIII is just not an easy guy to get along with. That just does NOT work at the QB position. I’ll pass.

    Kap was on the verge of winning a SB a few seasons ago. Yet, by the end of 2015, he was on the bench and the 49ers were opting for Blaine Gabbert. Has ANY player in the league fallen as far as he has during that time???

    Why are we even thinking about a guy who has gone that far in the wrong direction? I’ll pass.

    Fortunately for us, as Darren pointed out, it looks like Palmer has a few very good years left in him, and I see no reason he is not going to be here for those few years. Yeah, another bad knee injury could affect that, but…assuming he stays healthy, he seems likely to stay here, maybe to finish his career here. That should deter guys like Kap or RGIII – guys who are probbaly going to want to be a starter – from looking in our direction. And I’m just fine with that.

    Let someone else take those gambles.

  27. By Dr. G. on Feb 28, 2016 | Reply

    Connor Cook or Paxton Lynch ? If they are there at #29, I put one of them on the stage…not to move up the draft on either. None of the QBs in this draft will be ready for some time unless a crisis arises…

    And with Palmer here ((apparently)) for a while, it blocks any effort to try any trade for a guy like Kirk Cousins…laer

  28. By clssylssy on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    I see RGIII going to Houston where he can be a starter,possibly Dallas,given Romo’s ongoing medical issues and precarious health. Kaepernick wants out of SF and Denver wants him; I could see Chip Kelly taking the Oregon QB, Vernon Adams as Gabbert could start and Adams has drawn comparison to Russell Wilson. I would like the Cards to get Osweiller but don’t know that Keim would be willing to spent that kind of moneys will, maybe trade Barkley,some cash and a future draft pick. I think Osweiller under Arians and Tom Moore could be another Peyton Manning, has proven he can hold his own already with the big boys, is a pocket passer,etc. I think Bradford will stay in Philly & LA will get one of the top rookies,probably Cook.
    I agree with Darren that Griffin & Kaep are going to want to be starters but they have NFL experience and any team who signs them will know what they are getting?

  29. By clssylssy on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    I wouldn’t be skeptical about RGIII or Kapernick; as evidenced by Carson Palmer, just because a guy has a bad year, doesn

  30. By clssylssy on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    doesn’t mean he is a wash and wouldn’t be good in a different system. IMO,Shanahan nearly ruined RGIII and in 2015 he was coming off some serious injuries including knee injury,concussion, and broken ankle in addition to which he had a green coach in a dysfunctional organization plagued by political unrest. If they would have played him and he got hurt, the Skins would have been on the hook for 16M…Cousins was a safer option that worked out for them. Kap also was plagued by health issues in a toxic organizational situation.
    Just say’n, looking at what there is out there for talent, I wouldn’t dismiss either in a good coaching situation & with a fresh fan base. Not my idea for the Cards right off but either better than Barkley.

  31. By Scott H on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    Appreciate your thoughts, as always. But in terms of any comparison to Palmer…are you talking about Palmer at the point at which the Cards traded for him? If yes, then I don’t get that comparison. Palmer, at that point, was a VERY proven QB and a proven QB in terms of being a TRUE QB – a guy who makes plays from the pocket, throwing the ball down the field. Neither Kap or RGIII seemed to be that kind of guy.

    Palmer came into a very favorable situation here in 2013 and after a somewhat bumpy start, he flourished. But I see Palmer as a guy who would do that because he already had the “internals.” With Palmer, it WAS more about having the right “externals” around him. With Kap and Griffin, I think there are problems with the “internals.” Therefore, I don’t see them as simply needing the right “externals” around them.

    Stated another way, I just don’t think Kap or Griffin are very good QB’s! I think they are both more in the Michael Vick mold – just without being nearly as good as Michael Vick was when Michael Vick WAS good.

  32. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply



    Yep, I would agree. Ellington had a huge future here if not for injuries. Matheu hasn’t played 16 games yet and Okafer has been hurt 2 of the 3 years.

    But I will continue to argue that cooper was a bad pick regardless of the injury and in todays changing defense, where teams are using safeties as LBs, that slow moving thumper at LB is becoming a dinosaur.

    I also agree that, thank goodness, Keim has found those cheap FA’s each year to fill spots. He has earned his GM of the year awards by hiring the right coach, trading for the right QB, and adding the right pieces in FA. Too bad he couldn’t be better in the draft.

    As Keim looks for that elusive edge rusher, he passed on Dee Ford and Demarcus Lawrence in 2014 and allowed Denver to jump one spot up to take Shane Ray (for two 5th rounders) in 2015. Here’s to 2016 being the year.

  33. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    clssy and scott,

    RG3 and Kaep;

    Both of these guys have had success in this league. Obviously, if they are in the right situation, (and they get their act together), they could be productive QBs again.

    What is the right situation? RG3 to Houston? I don’t know. With good receivers and a top notch back, I could see miss direction and play action working, if RG3 can do it. He can’t just be in shotgun.

    I think a better fit for Houston is Sam Bradford. He would beome the guy everyone thought he was if he lands there. Houston now is a legit team to compete for AFC title. It will be interesting if Philly can keep him.

    I just can’t see Denver letting Osweiter go. Why? If they do, that says a lot about Brock cuz they are the last pick and have no QB. Kaep??? That is a huge gamble, when you have a guy who knows your offense.

    As for AZ, I just think they will have to go for a QB later in the draft.

  34. By clssylssy on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    I quite agree with you that it would be a gamble for Denver to not sign Osweiller, however they might not be able to afford to keep him and feel if they can pay their defense, they can get by picking up a talent that is desperate to get out of his current situation, and being the reigning Champions has its advantages. I just haven’t seen anybody in this year’s class who Is within reach and worth a draft pick as another experiment with all of our other needs.
    I think the day of the “true QB” is past because colleges have changed their style and mobile QBs like Kap & RGIII are going to be valued although their career span may be shorter.
    I think the Cards are OK for now but should be ready to move should an opportunity present.

  35. By Scott H on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Re: Kap & Griffin

    Just responding to the comment that they could be productive QB’s again if they land in the right situation AND if they get their act(s) together. Ah, there it is – the 2nd half of that statement. Getting their acts together is definitely the bigger obstacle for these guys. Because that is always the more difficult problem to solve. In my humble opinion, of course. I could end up being very wrong.

    This is more a general comparison than a direct one but look at Jeff George. He had all the physical talent and ability any human being could have. But it never worked for him anywhere. He just didn’t have the head for it. AND he never seemed to get how HE was basically the problem. I wonder about that with these guys….probably with Griffin a bit more.

    Again, I could end up being very wrong. But right or wrong, I don’t see either of them being a consideration for the Cardinals right now.

  36. By Dr. G. on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    Re:: Kaep & RGIII ? I think Kaepernick has learned some lessons about being a showboat early on…a good athlete who can probably be successful again in the right situation. He was a good blue collar locker room guy who would welcome a change;; taking a flier on him would be of little risk, but he needs to start. That would eliminate the Cards with Palmer here, but BA would like him.

    As for RGIII, he presents to be somewhat an arrogant head case. A change of venue for him will plant a spoiled lemon in the new locker room. I wouldn’t even want him as a back up if he played for the minimum…high maintenance drama will follow this Spoil Sport. A fantastic athlete…too bad.

  37. By Thetruthis on Mar 3, 2016 | Reply

    Here are some facts for the Cardinal fans. I love your coach and all he stands for. But, RG3 or keep would be ideal for the cards given the left behind coaches they are coming from. FACT: GET READY: The last 4 superbowls have featured at least 1 mobile QB in each of the last 4 SB. You know how many YOUNG pro style QB’s were there the last 4 years? NONE, not a single one. The only pro style QB’s that were there were much older and top level QB’s like Peyton Manning. So, don’t expect the Connor Cooks of the world to tear it up and win SB’s in the near future as a given. THE LEAGUE IS A CHANGING!!! The reason RG3 and Kaep faltered is because they were with dull thinking coaches who did not know how to best use their accomplished skill sets to include RG3 has a serious deep ball. So, if the odds say you want to go to the SB, you had better take notice of what skill set is getting it done these days.

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