With the seventh pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals bolstered their offensive line by selecting guard Jonathan Cooper out of North Carolina Thursday.
In Cooper, the Redbirds gained a 6-foot-2, 311-pound consensus first-team All-American that can help his new team do something it has struggled with in recent times, protect the quarterback.
Now, with the 38th pick in the second round, Arizona is heavily projected to go after their quarterback of the future, although, who that could turn out to be remains a question.
Here are some predictions from around the web:
USA TODAY: QB Matt Barkley, USC: A teammate of Matt Leinart’s in 2012 with the Raiders, Carson Palmer gets backed up by another fellow Trojan in 2013. Don’t worry, Cardinals fans, Barkley seems far more serious about his craft than Leinart was in his desert days. And learning from Bruce Arians and Palmer while playing in a dome is the model way for Barkley to grow into the guy who can take the reins in a year or two.
Sporting News: OLB Tank Carradine, Florida State
SB Nation: QB Matt Barkley, USC
Sports Illustrated: QB Mike Glennon, NC State: We’re hearing the Cardinals like Glennon’s pro potential more so than Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley. I suppose Arizona believes one former USC quarterback is plenty.
CBSSports.com: QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse: With a new regime in Arizona, they will have to think long and hard about adding a young quarterback here to develop for the future.
Rotoworld.com: QB Mike Glennon, NC State: Carson Palmer is 33. Glennon becomes Bruce Arians’ QB of the future.
Yahoo! Sports: QB Mike Glennon, NC State: At age 33, Carson Palmer is on his last legs. Glennon will be groomed for 2014.
If they decide against taking a quarterback, the team could go in a different direction with their second-round choice and choose to beef up their defense, continue to build on pass protection or find a runner to complement Rashard Mendenhall out of the backfield.
ProFootballTalk: OLB Cornelius Washington, Georgia
NFL.com – Josh Norris: OT Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff: After missing out on the top offensive tackles in Round 1, the Cardinals turn to the high-pside Armstead, who is further along in his development than many think.
NFL.com – Bucky Brooks: RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama: Bruce Arians gets a big, bruising runner to alleviate the pressure on Carson Palmer in the pocket.