Experts believe Baker Mayfield-loving Cardinals will be aggressive in draft

Apr 23, 2018, 7:55 AM | Updated: 8:52 pm
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is video taped during the NFL football scouting combine, Saturd...
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is video taped during the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Like it or not, the Arizona Cardinals were aggressive in finding a new starting quarterback this offseason by signing Sam Bradford to a deal that could pay him up to $20 million for 2018.

They were aggressive in signing backup Mike Glennon as well.

With neither looking like a long-term option, it wouldn’t be hard to assume that Cardinals general manager Steve Keim would do everything possible to select a starting-caliber quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. The big if is whether or not Arizona likes a top-tier prospect enough to trade up from their No. 15 pick.

The answer from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and ESPN’s Todd McShay is “yes.”

In a mock draft for his final MMQB column leading into the draft, which begins Thursday, King believes the Cardinals are set on being aggressive by trading up to draft with the Denver Broncos’ No. 5 overall pick.

That’s because, King says, they love Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Call this hunch the Won’t Get Fooled Again Pick. I’ve always thought a segment of the Cardinals had regrets over the 2017 draft when, with a 37-year-old quarterback (Carson Palmer) possibly in his last year, they were leap-frogged by teams that took Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson one and three picks ahead of them. Plus, the Cardinals don’t like Baker Mayfield. They love him. That’s a good thing, because John Elway likes him a lot too.

McShay also believes that Arizona has grown to love Mayfield.

They’ve been really quiet throughout this process, but it won’t surprise me a bit if they deal up for a QB. I know there’s some love for (Wyoming QB Josh Allen) and some love for Mayfield in that building.

Neither has evidence to suggest Arizona and Denver have discussed a trade for the No. 5 pick, but Elway, the Broncos general manager, said at a press conference last week he would be willing to trade the team’s first-round pick.

The problem there is that the GM’s public dangling of the pick could drive the price up. And if Elway likes Mayfield as much as King believes, he certainly would ask for the Cardinals’ No. 15 pick and a lot more to give it up.

Predicting where Mayfield goes in the draft is difficult.

Many mock drafts predict he could be a top-five pick, while some also believe he could fall all the way to Arizona’s current draft slot.

After beginning his college career at Texas Tech, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound quarterback played the last three years with the Sooners, improving his total yardage, number of touchdowns and average yards per pass attempt in each season. As a senior, he completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Draft evaluators might be apprehensive to label him a top-five selection due to his height and several in-game behavioral issues. He also was arrested in February 2017 on charges of public intoxication and fleeing.

Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
16 hours ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
16 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
3 days ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
4 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
4 days ago
Experts believe Baker Mayfield-loving Cardinals will be aggressive in draft