Updated Nov 3, 2011 - 11:46 am
Should Andrew Luck be the choice IF the Cardinals get top pick?
Tyler Bassett wants to go Lee Corso and say -- not so fast. Adam Green thinks the Cards should not turn their back such good, ummm, luck. Instead of disagreeing while sitting in their (neighboring) cubicles they decided to do it through email. Tyler's up first.
IF the Arizona Cardinals end up with the No. 1 pick next April they should not take Andrew Luck with the pick if they are going to keep Kevin Kolb on the roster. The team invested way too much money in Kolb this past season to give up on him after one year. Yes, if you draft Luck you have given up on Kolb. A team can't trade for a "franchise" QB and give him $21 million guaranteed -- $63.5 overall, trade a good cornerback (DRC) and a second- round pick and put him on the bench after one year. It's bad business and bad investing. You gave up -- and gave him -- a whole lot and it's the guy you are stuck with for the foreseeable future. Andrew Luck should not be an Arizona Cardinal no matter what. They have way too many other holes to fill.
First, let me preface this by saying I don't think the Cards will land the top pick in the draft. They may suck, but not enough to land Luck. However, if they were selecting first overall it would mean one very simple thing: Kevin Kolb stunk. That being the case, why would you pass on the most sure-thing QB the league has seen come out of college in decades just to get another year of Kolb? At 27 the guy may not have much more room to improve, and it's fairly likely what you see now is what you'll get three years from now. Did the Cardinals give up a lot to get Kolb? Absolutely. But don't compound one mistake by making another. Admit you were wrong and be happy it only cost you a shaky corner, a high pick and a signing bonus and not the franchise's next decade of football.
I disagree that them getting the first pick means Kevin Kolb stunk. It certainly doesn't say he played well but this team is a roster full of issues right now. I don't think the QB position is one of their biggest needs. I like Luck, but with all rookies I won't sit here and say he's a sure thing. Even saying the most-sure thing in decades doesn't sway me. I would much rather see a left tackle that could protect and help Kolb's mental state when he drops back or a guy coming off the edge with the speed of a safety and the reach of a power forward. After watching seven games I think this team can succeed with Kolb at QB (I don't see another nine completely changing my mind, not with all the other holes). I only think he'll continue to get better (injury may prevent that for a few weeks). Give him this entire season, plus a full off- season and a full season with that off-season to build off of. With what the Cardinals did to make it happen this past August plus their other holes, it makes the most sense.
I'll grant you the Cardinals have plenty of issues, with some maybe even being worse than QB. However, if there is one thing we've learned the last couple of years it's that a great quarterback can make up for a lot of problems. Kurt Warner had the Cardinals in the playoffs and without him they are the worst team in the NFC West. The Colts are a perennial playoff team, take away Peyton Manning and they may not win a game. An accurate QB who can read a defense and get the ball out quickly will neutralize a bad offensive line and a QB who can put points on the board will help his defense look adequate. The point is you cannot win without an elite QB unless you have a dominant defense and running game, and the Cardinals are quite a few pieces short of having either. While there are no guarantees Andrew Luck will be great, all signs (minus Phil Simms) point in that direction. Plug him into this offense and watch the team magically become good again.
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