ARIZONA CARDINALS

SI’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft has Cardinals taking QB at No. 19

Aug 30, 2017, 11:44 AM | Updated: Aug 31, 2017, 10:52 pm

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk passes during warmups before an NCAA college football game a...

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk passes during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Washington, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Arizona Cardinals are likely nearing a point of transition in their franchise’s history.

Two staples of the team — quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald — are far closer to the end of their careers than the beginning. So when general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians approach the draft in 2018, a signal-caller could be at the top of the wish list.

That’s why Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke has the Cardinals taking Washington State QB Luke Falk with the No. 19 pick next year.

The Cardinals’ recent draft history certainly points toward someone like freakish Kansas edge defender Dorance Armstrong. At some point in the very near future, though, they have to replace Carson Palmer. Falk is 6′ 4″, experienced and sees the field well. The big hurdle here might be convincing Arizona coach Bruce Arians to invest in a QB out of the Air Raid system.

Falk is going into his senior season at Washington State after having passed for 4,468 yards in 2016 and completing 70 percent of his passes. Since 2014, Falk has played 30 games with a career completion percentage of 68.8. He also threw for 4,561 yards in 2015, his sophomore season.

In three seasons, Falk has thrown 89 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.

While impressive, Falk hasn’t drawn quite as much attention as his fellow Pac-12 quarterbacks Sam Darnold (USC) or Josh Rosen (UCLA). But he’s played tremendously in college, which could warrant him going in the middle of the first round to a team that needs a new QB.

Depending on how the Cardinals do this year, Falk could be within reach.

Some outside observers postulated that the Cardinals might shoot for a new quarterback in the 2017 draft, but Arizona ultimately went with linebacker Haason Reddick from Temple. That may have been their target all along with the No. 13 choice, or maybe they would’ve gone with someone like Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky if those arms hadn’t already gone off the board.

A year later, drafting a QB seems that much more pressing.

Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr. poses after getting drafted by the Arizona Cardinals...

Tyler Drake

Marvin Harrison Jr. jerseys: Can Arizona Cardinals finally buy them?

Marvin Harrison Jr. signing his rookie contract simultaneously opened the door for Cardinals fans to secure the wide receiver's jersey.

10 hours ago

Marvin Harrison Jr. catches a pass during Cardinals rookie minicamp...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals sign Marvin Harrison Jr. to 4-year contract

The Cardinals signed rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to a four-year contract that includes a fifth-year option on Thursday.

15 hours ago

BJ Ojulari at OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Growth of Arizona Cardinals’ BJ Ojulari, Garrett Williams on display at OTAs

Second-year pros BJ Ojulari and Garrett Williams could be competing for significant roles for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

16 hours ago

Cardinals leadership and mental health awareness discussion...

Tyler Drake

Leading the right way: Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon host high school coaches for panel on uplifting athletes

A handful of Arizona Cardinals made time out of their day to discuss the value of the leadership with local high school coaches on Tuesday.

20 hours ago

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at L...

Character Counts

Kyler Murray makes championship match of charity chess tournament

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray doesn't mind some chess in his spare time and he elevated that hobby on Wednesday.

1 day ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Has Kyler Murray checked all the boxes as an elite NFL QB?

It's a big season for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Burns & Gambo wonder if all the offseason work the QB's put in will help him take his game to the next level.

2 days ago

SI’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft has Cardinals taking QB at No. 19