Not Just Cardinals Who Need QB
April 23, 2017 06:00 PM | Darren Urban
The Texas need a new quarterback after the signing of Brock Osweiler (left) didn't work out. Last preseason, the Cardinals visited Houston, getting a close-up look at the Texans' quarterback of the future, Brock Osweiler.

That didn't turn out all that well.

It underscores the reality of the search for QB in the NFL, and what the Cardinals face as they try to find a heir apparent for Carson Palmer. Sure, there are plenty of ways to analyze and dissect potential picks and whether those players could become NFL starters and lead the Cards to a potential title.

What can't be ignored is that many other teams seek the same thing.

"You can be in a situation where every quarterback in the draft is still there at (Cardinals pick No.) 13 or there could be three or four gone," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said. "You can't really tell."

Early in the draft process, there were arguments being made that none of the top QBs - Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, DeShone Kizer - were first-round worthy. As the draft gets closer, that's clearly untrue. There will be quarterbacks - more than one - drafted in the first round.

Where they go is the question.

"People start taking quarterbacks just because they have to have one," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "They will take a guy that they must have had on their board in the first round and you had (graded) in the third or fourth round but he was the next best quarterback, so they took the position over the player."

The teams at the top of the draft are usually there because they need a quarterback. The top three teams in the draft - Browns, 49ers and Bears - all need a quarterback. (The Bears did sign Mike Glennon, but that is far from a sure thing - it could be Osweiler the sequel.)

The Jets at No. 6 could use one, even after drafting Christian Hackenberg in the second round last year. And among the other teams drafting in front of the Cardinals, the Chargers and the Saints are two teams in the same situation as the Cards - with quality starters who are getting older in Philip Rivers and Drew Brees, respectively, a QB of the future will be needed sooner rather than later. The Browns also own the 12th pick, so even if they passed on one at No. 1, they could easily (and are expected to) take one then, a slot in front of the Cardinals.

Other teams drafting after the Cardinals that could very well seek a quarterback: the Redskins (uncertainty of Kirk Cousins future), the Giants (An aging Eli Manning), the aforementioned Texans, the Chiefs (upgrading Alex Smith) and the Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger hinting at retirement).

Even if it doesn't come in the first round, the guessing game continues beyond that for teams that don't grab one.

"It's a supply-and-demand issue and quarterback is in its own category," Keim said.

That's why the back end of the first round and early second round could end up as intriguing if not moreso with the quarterback class.

Keim emphasized that the Cardinals will stay true to their draft board, although estimating what other teams might do in terms of taking a quarterback is "part of the strategy."

"On draft day emotions get running, you get excited and you can make some poor decisions, which is why we have built that board the way we built it," Keim said. "We already had those tough conversations."

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