The Arizona Cardinals will wind up with the 29th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft after losing in the NFC Championship game to the Panthers yesterday. Had the Patriots not been stripped of their first round pick Arizona would be picking at #30.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim will have a big decision on which way the team will go in the draft. After Carson Palmer’s performance in Carolina yesterday many Cardinals fans are clamoring for a new QB. Palmer still has some good years left in him and did a great job this season until the NFC Championship Game. His current deal runs through the 2017 season. I doubt Arizona drafts a QB late in the first round unless someone like Paxton Lynch slides all the way to #29.
The Cardinals really need to bolster their defensive line and will probably go defense in round one. Rounds 2 or 3 is where the Cardinals could look for a QB of the future. Christian Hackenburg’s last year at Penn State wasn’t very good and unless he has a great showing at the Combine it’s likely he could slide into the second round. Dak Prescott or Brandon Allen might be a guy they can draft in the third round who can be groomed and coached up into an NFL quarterback. Both shined in the SEC last year and both have big arms and a lot of upside. Allen is similar to Palmer and can sling it all over the field. He’s probably a better fit than Prescott who is more like Cam Newton. Prescott is built like a defensive lineman but can throw and run the ball.
Picking so late in the first round is always a crap shoot. A team can have a few guys in mind they like but if someone they thought would go in the top ten is still on the board a GM can get lucky. We won’t really know what direction the Cardinals will take until draft day. Drew Stanton isn’t going to be a starter in the NFL and Matt Barkley never really blossomed into the QB they hoped he would. My money is on Arizona drafting a quarterback in the draft but it won’t be in the first round unless Paxton Lynch or Jared Goff fall all the way down to #29.