While two teams are set to face off in the Super Bowl, the other 30 teams in the NFL are gearing up for free agency in March and the 2013 NFL Draft in April. The Arizona Cardinals are one such team, as they were far out of the playoffs by the end of the season.
They're up in the top of the draft, picking at No. 7. They have a huge list of needs on both sides of the ball, but none are more important than their quarterback position. Ryan Lindley and John Skelton saw significant time in 2012, which is probably enough of a condemnation on its own.
Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation released his latest mock draft on Monday, and he has the Cardinals addressing that need by drafting Tyler Wilson, the quarterback out of Arkansas.
If the board falls in this fashion -- with Joeckel and Smith gone -- the Cardinals would be in a tough spot. With new head coach Bruce Arians in place, he may look to improve an offense that finished second to last in the NFL in scoring. Some expect a player like Chance Warmack for this pick, but that's unlikely for two reasons. As good as Warmack is, a guard hasn't been taken in the top 10 since 1997 (Chris Neole, Saints, 10th overall). As good as Warmack is, he's not a flawless prospect.
More importantly, the Cardinals need a jumpstart in the passing game. Currently we're projecting Tyler Wilson here. As the draft process moves along, we'll get a better feel for which quarterback would fit Arians' offense best. If he continues hinting that he wants a quarterback who excels at play action and completing on third down, a player like Matt Barkley might be better than Wilson. But Wilson is the choice for now because he can play well under pressure and read the entire field.
While our team blog, Revenge of the Birds, is more focused on new head coach Bruce Arians and other changes to the coaching staff, but they'll shift their focus to the draft soon. And when they do, it's pretty obvious that the quarterback position will be their primary point of focus.
There are some other options, like Matt Barkley, but SB Nation has maintained Wilson in this spot, so it will be interesting to see what happens with the quarterback position prior to Arizona's pick.