ARIZONA CARDINALS

Report: Cardinals meeting with Clemson QB Deshaun Watson

Apr 10, 2017, 8:27 AM | Updated: 3:52 pm
Deshaun Watson runs a drill during pro day at Clemson, Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Clemson. (AP Ph...
Deshaun Watson runs a drill during pro day at Clemson, Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Clemson. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
(AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

As the 2017 NFL Draft creeps closer and closer, the Arizona Cardinals continue doing their homework on potential picks.

Arizona currently owns eight picks in this year’s event, including the 13th overall pick in the first round. While they have several areas of need, there has been plenty of speculation that this will be the year GM Steve Keim pulls the trigger on an early-round draft pick in an attempt to find a “quarterback of the future.”

That process will continue Wednesday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Watson led Clemson to their first national championship since 1981 last season. The junior completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards with 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while running for 629 yards and nine more scores.

In the College Football Playoff Championship, Watson riddled Alabama’s star-studded defense for 420 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 35-31 upset win.

The Cardinals have already met with Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who reportedly impressed a large contingent of team staff.

Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, another common projection to the Cardinals in various mock drafts, has also been mentioned — indirectly, mind you — in connection to Arizona. Last month, while speaking at the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL meetings in Phoenix, head coach Bruce Arians said he believes one quarterback from this year’s class could be ahead in the learning curve.

“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.”

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported that player Arians was referring to was Kizer, who threw for 5,805 yards and 47 touchdowns in 25 games over the last two years for the Fighting Irish.

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