ARIZONA CARDINALS

Broncos coach Sean Payton: ‘It’s good to be’ Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort in NFL Draft

Mar 25, 2024, 8:37 AM | Updated: 9:00 am

Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton...

Head coach Sean Payton of the Denver Broncos looks on prior to the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)

(Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort may not have the neon ‘for sale’ sign blinking around his fourth overall NFL Draft pick. Yet it appears word has spread without that blatant advertisement.

At the NFL league meetings Monday in Florida, talk about Arizona’s decision-making came up even though it was AFC coaches only available to reporters.

Let’s start with Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton, whose team owns the No. 12 pick and not another until the third round. He pushed back against the thought that it would be hard for the Broncos to trade up to draft a top-three or top-four quarterback after moving on from the Russell Wilson era.

“I think it’s realistic,” Payton said. “What’s hard to predict, though, is like what’s on the receiving end? I think it’s good to be Monti today, at Arizona. It’s hard to predict what that cost is, and yet I certainly wouldn’t say it’s unrealistic. We’ll pay close attention to it.”

 

It’s widely believed Arizona could take the first non-quarterback off the board at No. 4. Ahead of them, it’s predicted that USC’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and UNC’s Drake Maye will be drafted to the Bears, Commanders and Patriots, in some order.

But there is some thought that the No. 4 pick could be used on a quarterback as well if Arizona, feeling good with Kyler Murray under contract, trades it.

Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy is widely regarded as the fourth-best quarterback in the draft class. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. listed McCarthy as the No. 15 prospect on his big board.

It wouldn’t be surprising for Oregon’s Bo Nix or Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. to find themselves pro homes in the first few rounds, but fourth overall would be a wild leap. Don’t believe that?

“There is talk of four QBs going in the first four picks,” new Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Mind you, that would be recently departed Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who said he thinks his former pupil McCarthy is “the best quarterback in the draft.”

Other quarterback-needy teams behind Arizona include the Minnesota Vikings, who have the 11th and 23rd picks, and the Las Vegas Raiders, who own the 13th overall pick. Raiders coach Antonio Pierce on Monday played up his current signal-caller, Aidan O’Connell, while adding that quarterback competition wouldn’t be a bad thing as he enters his first full year as head coach.

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