ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals think Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer could start as a rookie

Mar 30, 2017, 3:32 PM | Updated: Mar 31, 2017, 11:27 am

Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) throws against Wake Forest during the first half of an NC...

Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) throws against Wake Forest during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

It’s sounding likely the Arizona Cardinals will choose a quarterback at some point in next month’s NFL Draft.

However, whether they spend their first-round pick — No. 13 overall — on one or decide to address the position in the later rounds is anyone’s guess, as is who they might be targeting.

On Wednesday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians gave some insight into his thinking regarding the quarterback position heading into the draft. He discussed what he would like to find in a passer in terms of characteristics and ability, and believes there are players who could embody what he is looking for in this year’s draft.

Yet, while there are a handful of quarterbacks Arians seems to be high on, he said in terms of players who could step in as rookies and lead a team, there is a limited number.

“So far, I would say one of the guys — I’m not going to mention names — I think one of them is probably ready to start as a rookie,” Arians said. “All the rest, there are some really talented arms that need a year of learning how to play the position, especially at this level. If you’re plug-and-play then this draft is very small, but if you have time to bring them along then this draft is large because the talent level is there.”

Arians’ reasoning for not providing a name is obvious — if he and the Cardinals really like a certain player, why let other teams know — yet, Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro is reporting that the player the coach was referring to is Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.

Seen as one of the draft’s better prospects and a good fit for Arizona’s offense, the 6-foot-4, 233-pound Kizer would seem to be more in play for the Cardinals at 13 than in the second round.

As a junior last season, he passed for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns, while running for 472 yards and eight scores. He was also benched during the season after struggling some, and while that no doubt raises concerns, it is tough to ignore his raw ability.

Kizer has one of the stronger arms in the draft, yet offers the kind of mobility many teams seek nowadays. It would not be a total shock if the Cardinals took him, given that the majority of mock drafts up to this point have the Notre Dame product being their pick at 13, though as Arians and Cardinals GM Steve Keim have said, there is an inherent risk involved when choosing a quarterback near the top of the draft.

Still, the Cardinals would like to find one, and Kizer could very well be their primary target.

“Every year you would like to draft a quarterback,” Arians said. “We’ve had two with the name on the card ready to roll, and they’ve gone like a pick or three picks ahead of us the last two years.

“You’ve got them set on your board where you’d like to take that quarterback and if he falls to you, take him, but don’t reach. If you’ve got one in the fourth round, don’t take him in the third round, cause now you’re screwing up your board, and you’re probably putting him in a position he doesn’t belong.”

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals D.J. Humphries...

Vincent DeAngelis

Cardinals’ OT D.J. Humphries talks Marvin Harrison Jr., recovery from torn ACL

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries expressed that he thinks Marvin Harrison Jr. is too easy to miss in the 2024 NFL Draft.

5 hours ago

Malik Nabers speaks with reporters at 2024 NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals add Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., in Lance Zierlein’s latest mock draft

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein zigged instead of zagged on Monday, mock-drafting Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., to the Cardinals at No. 4.

6 hours ago

Jacob Cowing runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Projecting where Arizona Cardinals could draft NFL Combine standouts

A look at some of the combine standouts who could fill a Cardinals' need and how they could realistically find their way to Arizona:

9 hours ago

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, Mar...

Tom Kuebel

Cardinals could trade up to pick OL prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft

After an impressive showing by the offensive lineman at the 2024 NFL Draft Combine, the Cardinals might have to trade up from pick No. 27 to get a top prospect.

1 day ago

Rome Odunze...

Alex Weiner

How did Rome Odunze measure at NFL Draft Combine after meeting with Cardinals?

Before taking the field to run the 40-yard dash, Rome Odunze met with several teams sitting atop the draft, including the Cardinals.

2 days ago

Olumuyiwa Fashanu...

Jesse Morrison

NFL Draft OL prospect Olu Fashanu had ‘smooth meeting’ with Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon

One of the top prospects in the NFL draft, offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu seemed interested in the Cardinals at the NFL combine.

2 days ago

Cardinals think Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer could start as a rookie