Cardinals need QB, but maybe not with No. 5 pick
The Arizona Cardinals need a quarterback, the days of their
smooth-operating offense since Kurt Warner’s retirement have been
Whether they use the fifth overall pick in next week’s NFL draft
to get one is questionable, though, since they probably would
prefer a veteran quarterback and they have so many needs
Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller would provide
much-needed help for a pass rush that was among the worst in the
NFL, but he could be gone, with Buffalo at No. 3 the most
That could leave Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert an
irresistible pick. After all, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt – as
offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers – had some pretty
good results with a rookie quarterback named Ben
”Look at what (Sam) Bradford and (Matt) Ryan and (Joe) Flacco
have done the last couple of years,” Whisenhunt said. ”They’ve
gone in there and played and done well.”
If they are to address the quarterback situation via free agency
or trade, that will have to wait for a resolution to the collective
bargaining situation. Possibilities include signing a free agent,
such as Marc Bulger, or making a trade, perhaps with Philadelphia
for Kevin Kolb.
Given the depth at quarterback in the draft, the Cardinals could
well pick one in the second round, long after Heisman Trophy winner
Cam Netwon and Gabbert are gone.
”We’ve said that that’s a position that we feel is important
that we address,” Whisenhunt said. ”There’s going to be avenues
for us to address it. This is the first opportunity that we’ve had
and if it’s the right fit for us, then by all means.”
After going 5-11, a big step back after consecutive NFC West
championships, needs are many, including the offensive line, inside
linebacker and the secondary.
Bill Davis became the second defensive coordinator fired by
Whisenhunt in his four years in Arizona. Ray Horton is the latest
to try to breathe some fire and efficiency into the 3-4 system. The
Cardinals brought in Joey Porter at outside linebacker, but the
veteran proved to be well past his prime and the position is high
on the list of areas needed to be dealt with in the draft.
That brings up Miller, the Butkus Award winner who led the
nation in sacks and added to his notoriety by becoming one of the
plaintiffs in lawsuits against the NFL over the league’s lockout.
But Miller is coveted by the Bills, maybe others, ahead of Arizona.
North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn could be an option,
although there is some trepidation because he sat out last season
for NCAA rule violations.
Other possibilities include LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson or
even Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green.
The talk with Arizona always goes back to quarterback,
The Cardinals have had extensive meetings with Newton and
Gabbert is seen as the more pro-ready of the two, and could be
Arizona’s pick even if Newton still is available.
The Cardinals also have been known to trade down. Of course,
nobody was offering any hints in the front office.
”Nothing,” general manager Rod Graves said, ”is off the