Mock drafts are always a tricky thing and, especially this early in the process, should be taken with large boulders of salt, but according to this NFL Mock Draft for 2011, the Arizona Cardinals would have plenty of quarterback options available. The question seems to be more about what the Cardinals front office and Coach Ken Whisenhunt will do. Taking a quarterback with the fifth pick is a financial gamble that the team could be wary off after years of paying Matt Leinart, only to see him never produce. There's also some who think Whisenhunt doesn't have the patience to develop a young quarterback and would want to find a more seasoned free agent or trade acquisition.
Still, if this mock draft is right and Andrew Luck is the only one of the big name quarterbacks off the board by the time the Cardinals pick and they don't take a QB, there would likely be a fan revolt. Nebraska's Prince Amukamara is a fine cornerback and the Cardinals secondary was far from impressive, but with Cam Newton, Ryan Mallet and possibly even Terrell Pryor, if he declares, on the board, the Cardinals have to go in that direction.
Of those names, Newton seems to be the most impressive. He's a potential Michael Vick-type of game-changing player who both throws the ball and is always a threat to run. His issues with possible NCAA violations and allegations his father shopped him around to the highest bidder mean nothing to me. The laptop incident while he was at Florida is a bit more concerning, but hey, who wouldn't want Vick on their team right now and he's done much worse.
Just as another sign of how important quarterbacks are in football, all of the top college prospects have yet to play in their bowl games. Andrew Luck (Stanford) plays tonight in the Orange Bowl while Mallet (Arkansas) and Pryor (Ohio) square off tomorrow in the Sugar Bowl. Newton will be right here in Arizona for the BCS Title Game on Jan. 10 playing at University of Phoenix Stadium in what could be his first-ever game in his new NFL home. Cardinals fans should be so lucky.