ARIZONA CARDINALS

Rapoport: Cardinals making calls about possibly trading up in NFL Draft

Apr 24, 2018, 1:06 PM | Updated: 2:51 pm

It’s easy to assume the Arizona Cardinals might want to trade up in the 2018 NFL Draft.

They need a quarterback, and their current first-round pick sitting at No. 15 overall likely won’t net them one of the three best signal-callers on the board.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the possibility of Arizona trading up is not just based on assumption — the Cardinals are being active in considering their options.

“The Arizona Cardinals, though, may be the team to watch at this point. They certainly seem like they’re making the most phone calls about possibly moving up for a quarterback,” Rapoport said Tuesday on NFL Network.

In the last few days leading into the draft, Arizona has been linked to quarterbacks Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield, who are more likely to fall outside the top-three picks than the presumed top two options in Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen.

Those four names, in some order, are expected to be drafted before the Cardinals pick 15th.

General manager Steve Keim will need to decide what he’s willing to give up in the draft, and he’s been tasked with predicting which teams ahead of him also want a quarterback.

Many mock drafts project the top five picks to include at least two signal-callers, and while many teams outside that grouping might pass on quarterbacks, the Miami Dolphins at No. 11 and Buffalo Bills at No. 12 could be teams the Cardinals must leap to have their choice of young arms.

“We don’t know where they could go, but if you try to figure out how the draft could fall, safe to assume that five or six could be potential slots to trade for a quarterback,” Rapoport said of Arizona’s options.

The Denver Broncos select fifth, and their general manager, John Elway, has said he’s open to trading the pick. The Indianapolis Colts draft sixth after they already traded down from the No. 3 spot, giving that pick to the New York Jets.

Neither team is in dire need of a quarterback and could get quite the return if they traded their respective picks.

98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro said Arizona won’t jump into the top-five and could only leap a few spots from 15th overall. Jumping the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, each of whom could draft a quarterback at 11th and 12th, could be possible if a signal-caller falls. More likely, the Cardinals could trade down in the draft to acquire more picks.

The Cardinals don’t necessarily need a quarterback in the first round, either. They signed starter Sam Bradford and backup Mike Glennon in the offseason, putting them in position to stand pat if the demands to trade up are too great.

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