ESPN’s Clayton: Cardinals rank high on list of teams that need to draft a QB

Apr 16, 2017, 2:04 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2017, 5:13 pm

(AP Photos)...

(AP Photos)

(AP Photos)

With speculation about the 2017 NFL Draft picking up, fans continue to wonder whether the Arizona Cardinals will pick Carson Palmer’s successor at quarterback.

ESPN’s John Clayton thinks the Cardinals should pick a QB from the college ranks when the draft arrives. Arizona ranked third on his list of 12 teams that should draft a quarterback.

With 37-year-old Carson Palmer entering the last leg of his career, the Cardinals need to start looking for his replacement. They might shy away from taking a quarterback in the first round, with the 13th overall pick, because they have bigger needs elsewhere (though both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have them taking a QB in their latest mock). The Cardinals need a first-round pick who can play this season to help them stay with the Seahawks in the NFC West.

This could be the last season for Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald together, and Arizona needs to find replacements for both. The second round makes sense for the Cardinals to pick a QB to compete with Drew Stanton as Palmer’s backup.

Clayton is on the side that seems to have recently gained traction. On Arizona Sports’ Mock Draft Tracker, four of the seven most frequent projections since April 1 have been quarterbacks. Texas Tech alum Patrick Mahomes is the most common name, with nine mock drafts suggesting the Cardinals take him with the No. 13 pick.

Deshaun Watson out of Clemson, DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame and Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina also have been connected to Arizona in mock drafts.

While mocks suggest the Cardinals will take a quarterback in the first round, Clayton mentions that in his view, Arizona should wait until the second round. A recent mock draft by the San Diego Union-Tribune  projected the Cardinals to take Kizer with the 45th pick.

The Cardinals own eight picks in the 2017 draft, which will take place from April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

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ESPN’s Clayton: Cardinals rank high on list of teams that need to draft a QB