CARDINALS CORNER

What are teams ahead of Cardinals in order thinking months out from 2024 NFL Draft?

Jan 19, 2024, 8:03 AM

Jerod Mayo talks on the sideline...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Another week has come and gone this NFL offseason, and many are still wondering exactly what the Arizona Cardinals and the other teams positioned at the top of the order are going to do come the 2024 NFL Draft this April.

For many Cardinals fans, the questions have centered around which teams ahead of them need quarterbacks and whether or not Marvin Harrison Jr. will still be on the board when the Cardinals pick at No. 4 overall.

The jury will remain out until his name is called on draft day, but there are still some changing tea leaves to read for the teams ahead of Arizona to consider if you’re general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Kliff Kingsbury Deja vu with the Bears?

Not that long ago, a team with quarterback needs that held the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft had interest in college coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Six years later, it’s a similar song and dance following reports that the Chicago Bears are expected to interview the former Cardinals head coach for their open offensive coordinator role.

A likely reason for that: Kingsbury’s ties to potential No. 1 pick and USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

Serving as the Trojans’ offensive analyst in 2023, Kingsbury worked with Williams throughout the year following his firing by the Cardinals.

The Cardinals once had a vision of pairing Kingsbury with quarterback Kyler Murray, who would go on to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Is Chicago planning to take a page out of their book? Or are they just getting insight into Williams and how he could transition from an Air Raid-style offense to the NFL?

The Bears are the true wild cards up top thanks to the unknown surrounding whether they want to stick with starter Justin Fields or opt to hit the hard reset with Williams or any other quarterback prospect.

If they move off of Fields, all signs point to Chicago taking a QB prospect like Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

But if they stand pat, there is concern the Bears could use their top pick on Harrison, though trading out of the pick altogether for even more draft capital could also be in the cards.

Commanding a rebuild

Unlike the teams picking on either side of them, the Washington Commanders at No. 2 overall are still searching for a new head coach after firing Ron Rivera after the season.

Washington did, however, ink a new general manager in Adam Peters, who comes from working with the San Francisco 49ers under general manager John Lynch.

Until Peters hires a new head coach, the vision for what the Commanders might look like moving forward remains cloudy, though the GM did say he believed massive changes weren’t needed during his introductory press conference on Tuesday.

But given Washington is hitting the reset button at GM and head coach, it only makes sense the team does the same at starting QB.

Seeing quarterback Sam Howell’s body of work in 2023 only adds to that sentiment.

Howell went 4-13 in his second NFL season, completing 63.4% of his passes for 3,946 yards and 21 touchdowns to 21 interceptions — the interceptions were a league high. He added another 263 yards and five scores on 48 carries.

Jerod Mayo has a vision for the Patriots

The New England Patriots opted for a head-coaching change this offseason, parting ways with Bill Belichick. In his place now sits former player and linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.

And unlike his former head coach’s close-to-the-vest demeanor on important topics like the draft, Mayo actually shed some light on what the organization is thinking when it comes down to the No. 3 pick this April.

“I’m very excited. What I will say is this: we are going to draft the best player for a position that is very important,” Mayo told WBZ-TV on Thursday. “You put the pieces together.

“But in all seriousness, we have a good opportunity in the draft. And I think our scouting department is pretty good.”

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to put two and two together here, especially given the lack of faith the team showed former starting quarterback Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe’s glaring inconsistencies in 2023.

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