It is hard to believe that the Arizona Cardinals came close to winning the Super Bowl just a couple of years ago-2008 to be exact. They have one of the greatest players in the NFL in wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, they have had trouble keeping a quality quarterback behind center to get him the ball.
I am using as reference an article by Darren Urban at the Arizona Cardinals’ website titled “Finding Fitz a Quarterback.”
The Cardinals entered the 2010 season off back-to-back NFC West division championships. In 2008, they followed a Cinderella playoff run, spearheaded by Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner all the way to the Super Bowl. In 2009, they returned to the postseason. They were victorious in an all-time great shootout against the wildcard Packers but were defeated by the eventual champion New Orleans Saints. However, the 2010 season proved disastrous. With the loss of Warner to retirement and Anquan Boldin through trade, the Cardinals’ once explosive offense failed. They faced a revolving door at quarterback all season.
Despite their defensive faults, the Cardinals have some very legitimate performers on that side of the ball. Adrian Wilson is a proven superstar at safety and the defensive line is solid, anchored by Darnell Dockett. Defensive end Calais Campbell is gradually growing into what could be a Pro Bowl lineman. Nose tackle Dan Williams is a big-bodied run stopper ideal for the 3-4-defense.
The Cardinals have no quarterback, they need depth at the cornerback position, and they need “playmaking” linebackers. While I do believe they must find a quarterback, I feel the acquisition of Kevin Kolb (Philadelphia Eagles) could make this all better, allowing the Cardinals to focus primarily on making their defense a real force in the NFC. Kolb has lost his job to Michael Vick. He is a deal for the right team, and I think Arizona fits. With a couple of good linebackers, the Cardinals could have one of the best “front sevens” in the NFL. Also, they have a pair of running backs who have been behind one of the NFL’s weakest rushing attacks over the past couple seasons.
It is unlikely that the Cardinals, even with the fifth overall pick, will have the opportunity to draft one of the two premier QBs in this year’s draft. Carolina, Buffalo, and Cincinnati are looking for one as well. Because of this, it is likely that they will go the route of linebacker, so Von Miller out of Texas A&M appears to be the best choice here. Alternatively, they may trade for Kolb, swapping picks with Philadelphia (23rd overall), in which case I could see them taking someone like Akeem Ayers from UCLA or Brooks Reed from Arizona.
While Arizona has holes, because of the great talent of Larry Fitzgerald, one way or another they must get a quality quarterback.
Arizona Cardinals Website, Darren Urban, “Finding Fitz a Quarterback”