2013 NFL Mock Draft: OL or QB for the Cardinals?

Stephen Dunn

Mock drafts are split as to whether the Cardinals will target a quarterback or an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Matt Barkley and Eric Fisher are among the prospects to follow.

Mock drafts have largely honed in on the two biggest offensive weaknesses for the Arizona Cardinals: The offensive line and quarterback. Experts are divided on which way the team should go with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, however. Rob Rang and Dane Brugler at CBSSports.com didn't help issues. Rang predicts that the Cardinals will select USC quarterback Matt Barkley in the first round, while Brugler has Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher heading to Arizona.


For comparison's sake, SB Nation's own Dan Kadar sides with Brugler, though he has Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel dropping to the Cardinals, not Fisher. Joeckel tends to be higher on draft boards, thought both are projected to be elite players. Fisher has a lot of length at 6'7, and is believed to have the lateral mobility to handle speed rushers. He may need to improve his upper and lower body strength, however.

Barkley is considered much less of a sure thing. Surprisingly, Rang has him being taken one spot ahead of West Virginia's Geno Smith, the projected No. 1 quarterback according to Kadar and Brugler. Barkley is still dealing with a shoulder sprain, and had less success during his senior season than many expected. He ceiling may be as high as his floor is low, but the Cardinals are desperate for a quarterback. Cardinals fans shouldn't be too shocked to hear Barkley's name called early in April.

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