2013 NFL Mock Draft: Cardinals to gamble on quarterback early?

USA TODAY Sports

Could the Arizona Cardinals draft a quarterback in the first round, despite a relatively weak class at the position?

The Arizona Cardinals have a lot of issues that need fixing before they're contending in the NFC West again, especially with the rapid rise of both the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, who both made the playoffs this past season.

Visit Revenge of the Birds for more on the Arizona Cardinals and their needs

Arizona, on the other hand, finished with one of the worst records in the NFL, but have one of the top picks in the 2013 NFL Draft with which to address one of their needs. By all accounts, their biggest needs are on the offensive side of the ball, specifically at quarterback and offensive line.

Matthew Fairburn and Dan Kadar collaborated on the most recent SB Nation mock draft on Monday, and they have the Cardinals addressing the former by taking Tyler Wilson, the quarterback out of Arkansas:

Few teams in the league need a quarterback as badly as the Cardinals do. The offensive line also needs fixing in the worst way, but both of the top offensive tackles are off the board. Tyler Wilson's arm strength makes him a fit for the vertical style of offense Bruce Arians likes to run. The Cardinals could also take one of the talented pass rushers that are still on the board, but Arians will want to find his quarterback.

With guys like Brian Hoyer, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley taking significant snaps under center in 2012, few would argue with the Cardinals reaching to take a quarterback at No. 7, despite a relatively weak class at the position this year.

Still, if one of the top two offensive tackles is still on the board, one has to wonder if the Cardinals would go that route. Their offensive line was one of the absolute worst in the league and that certainly didn't help their quarterbacks approach anything remotely nearing consistency.

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