The Arizona Cardinals seem to have found their quarterback of the present, upgrading their most dire need by trading for Carson Palmer after releasing Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. Though it does not prevent them from selecting a quarterback in this month's draft, it certainly makes it less likely that they will take one in the first round. So what do they do instead?
While the Cardinals have scheduled a visit with USC quarterback Matt Barkley, there is a good chance that he will slip into the second round, or at least be available for Arizona to trade up with their second pick and take him if they felt they had to. But they don't have to at the moment and there are many other needs for Arizona to fill. From the offensive line to the secondary, what will the Cards do?
In the collaborative SBNation bloggers mock draft, Revenge of the Birds' Jess Root went another route entirely, picking Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU. Though this pick was made before the Cards had acquired Palmer, it was made with the idea that Drew Stanton would carry the reigns for at least a year, and so the idea behind selecting Mingo was still the same:
This is a little bit of a disappointment, but not too much. Obviously, tackle and quarterback would be ideal, but the top three targets Joeckel, Smith and Fisher are all gone. However, since an edge rusher is a need and Mingo is higher on my draft board than Lane Johnson, Mingo is the obvious pick, especially with Jordan off the board. The Cards wanted Von Miller a couple of years ago, but ended up with Patrick Peterson. This is the year they get their big-time pass-rusher.
The Cards lacked a significant pass-rush outside of middle linebacker Daryl Washington and he will be suspended for four games as it is for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Arizona is switching their defense around after the departure of Ken Whisenhunt and his staff, so Mingo could fill a need while also providing a pass rush that they lacked last season.