Cardinals Draft Preview: Quarterbacks

While it's unlikely the Arizona Cardinals select a quarterback within the first three rounds of the draft, GM Rod Graves may still have his eye on a young prospect. Despite the signing of Derek Anderson, the shaky play of Matt Leinart leaves the Cardinals still in need of a youth movement at the position. Brad Wilbricht previews which quarterbacks Arizona might be targeting come next week.

Although the Arizona Cardinals invested a first-round pick in QB Matt Leinart four years ago, the team's long-term future at the position is still uncertain. Leinart has been plagued by inconsistencies and this may be his last chance to prove his worth as the starter in Arizona. The Cardinals brought in Derek Anderson to backup Leinart for the time being and re-signed journeyman Brian St. Pierre. While Anderson has been ineffective in recent years, he has shown the ability to perform at the NFL level.

Arizona's need to draft a young quarterback in next week's draft declined after those recent transactions, allowing the Cardinals to focus on unheralded players in the latter rounds. Names such as Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy will be long gone by the time Arizona potentially selects a quarterback but there will be plenty of talent left on the board. If the Cardinals end up using a third or fourth-round pick on a new option under center, Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour or Jonathan Crompton from Tennessee might be the answer.


Zac Robinson
(Getty)

The scenario above is probably far-fetched at this point with Arizona's front office more than likely only willing to use a fifth-round pick or later on a quarterback. Selecting the eventual leader of the team's offense would be a long-shot that late in the draft but it's not impossible. Along with the top-heavy talent like Bradford and Clausen this year's crop of quarterbacks looks to be extremely deep and talented. Players to be had in the final three rounds of the draft could include the likes of Mississippi's Jevan Snead or Oklahoma St's Zac Robinson.

It's uncertain whether Snead or Robinson's skill-set will translate to the next level but both players were extremely productive during college. Snead began his collegiate career at the University of Texas but transferred after McCoy emerged as the Longhorns' starter. In his final two seasons with the Rebels, Snead threw for nearly 5,400 yards and 46 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Robinson had a spectacular junior season throwing for over 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns but his production slipped in his season year.

Given the Cardinals' current situation under center, Snead or Robinson would certainly be enticing late in the draft. However, with three quarterbacks already signed there may not be room on the roster in 2010. There's still a chance Arizona pulls the trigger on a quarterback next week, but that notion will largely depend on how the draft plays out and which players the Cards are able to secure in the earlier rounds.


Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com
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