Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft: A Quarterback may not be a bad idea in the first round
With the 20th pick in the in the 2014 NFL Draft the Arizona Cardinals Select…
There are many speculations as to who the Arizona Cardinals will choose with their first round pick (20th overall) in the 2014 NFL draft. The Cardinals like all the other teams in the league, have many needs to fill. Every team creates a draft board full of prospects at each position, and ranks them according to best fit with the system the team runs; but fans and media like to have their projections and mock drafts as well, as to whom they suspect a team would and should select in all rounds of the draft. It’s simply just a matter of opinion. To the Cardinals, those mock drafts and public opinions don’t matter once Steve Keim and his staff set foot in that draft war room. The decision is theirs, and that becomes fact once it is handed into the commissioner.
The reality of the situation is still a little more than a month away, so the speculation may very well continue. With that being said, I at least have my own mock draft (opinion) as to whom the Cardinals will draft in the 1st round. So why not a quarterback?
Zach Mettenberger/ QB/ LSU:
Although the former LSU Quarterback is hurt entering this years draft, he still is a hot commodity, and is moving up on a lot of draft boards around the league. He will be a great asset to add to any team, especially the one in Arizona.
General Manager Steve Keim drafted two players out of LSU (Louisiana State University) last season in the 2nd, and 3rd rounds. This year he could add former LSU Tiger in the 1st round. The Cardinals are already set at the Quarterback position with the savvy veteran Carson Palmer entering his 2nd year with the team, but Palmer (age 34) is getting up there in age. Yeah, he wants to continue to prove his worth, and try to win a championship; but at the same time Palmer understands the situation, and is ready and willing to mentor a younger QB if need be.
Insert Mettenberger. The former LSU quarterback would fit in nicely with the Cardinals; and just like the Cardinals may have found their long-term solution at the left tackle position, drafting Mettenberger would silence those critics solve the issue that has haunted the organization since the departure of Kurt Warner. Mettenberger is a proto-typical pocket passer, and fits the profile that head coach Bruce Arians wants in his system . He stands 6′ 5″ at 230 lbs. and can throw the ball deep with great accuracy.
Arians would rather his young players come in to play right away, but with the injury Mettenberger suffered in the Tigers final game of the regular season last year; the quarterback will be forced to be sidelined for his rookie season. It is not uncommon for a quarterbacks drafted in the first round, to sit out their rookie season. Palmer as a matter of fact, was taken 1st overall in 2003, (by the Cincinnati Bengals) and sat behind John Kitna that year. We all recall the 2005 NFL Draft where Green Bay selected Aaron Rodgers late in the first round, already having the talented Brett Favre in place. It’s obvious how that turned out.
Mettenberger could come into Arizona and learn the system behind Palmer while he continues to recover from his knee injury. Then come the 2015 season, he should be ready to take over the reins and start his journey as the Cardinals franchise quarterback. One in which the franchise has lacked since Neil Lomax in the 1980’s, and perhaps Jake Plummer in the late 1990’s. None-the-less the Cardinals will have finally answered the call in the 21st century.
Disclaimer: This is just pure speculation on my part. It will frankly be a bit of a reach in my mind to take a guy like Mettenberger with the first round pick with him still recovering from his knee surgery and all. Besides, I’m sure the Cardinals would want somebody to be able to come in and contribute right away; especially with the high expectations they put on themselves by winning ten games last season. Look for the Cardinals to draft an impact player, that will help them accomplish those expectations, and perhaps get the team right were they need to be to have a shot at the championship.
Phoenix Sports-Kings contributor Jason Mulkey @_JayBird79