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Arizona Cardinals

NFL.com analyst: Cardinals need to take a QB in 2017 draft

Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) throws against Stanford during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

When it gets down to it, Carson Palmer was not the problem for the Arizona Cardinals in 2016.

Sure, he wasn’t quite at the form he displayed in 2015, when he was in the running for NFL MVP in leading the Cardinals to 13 wins and the NFC Championship Game, but for the most part, he was good enough to give his team not only a chance to win each week, but be a factor in any success it had.

Still, while Palmer ultimately passed for 4,233 yards with 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions — with the yardage total being his third 4,000 yard-plus season in four years with the Cardinals — at some point the team needs to look into finding a successor for the veteran.

That’s why NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, in a story featuring eight teams who need to draft a QB in 2017, listed the Cardinals at No. 7.

Analysis: The Cardinals were one of the most disappointing teams this fall. Coming off an appearance in the NFC title game, many in the media expected Arizona to ultimately represent the NFC in the upcoming Super Bowl. Instead, the Cardinals finished the season under .500 (7-8-1). Carson Palmer had a solid season, but there was a dip in his production. If Palmer was 5 years younger, I wouldn’t expect the Cardinals to jump into the quarterback market. He’s 37 years old, though. I anticipate GM Steve Keim addressing the position early in the 2017 draft.

The Cardinals have spent a draft pick on just one quarterback since GM Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians took over in 2013, though Arians on Monday said he hopes to find a younger option for the position in the near future.

“That will be one of our main objectives in the offseason is to make sure the franchise isn’t in the situation it was after Kurt (Warner), that the next guy is here and ready to roll.”

According to some early mock drafts, the Cardinals could have a chance to take Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer with the No. 13 overall selection.

As of Monday, however, Arians said he did not know enough about this year’s crop of QBs to have much of an opinion.

“Really haven’t studied them at all; just talked to Steve on the plane about who the scouts have ranked and start watching them in a couple weeks,” he said. “I’ll go down to the Senior Bowl and start looking at all of them.”

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