It’s never too early: A look at 2014 NFL mock drafts for Cardinals

Apr 30, 2013, 5:32 PM | Updated: 5:39 pm

We’re not a week removed from the 2013 NFL Draft, but that hasn’t stopped many around the country from projecting what will happen next April in New York.

That’s right…there are 2014 mock drafts already circulating on the world wide web. And based on the projected draft position of the Arizona Cardinals, most aren’t seeing good things for Bruce Arians’ team this season.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke has the Cardinals picking second and taking Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

We’re still four months from the college football season, but Bridgewater is the clear top QB prospect for 2014. That’s not to say that the QB crop is weak — several could justify first-round picks (assuming they don’t flop in 2013) and the class could have several players off the board on Day 1 or 2. But there is very little not to like about Bridgewater’s game, and the Cardinals would love to have him.

Bridgewater threw for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Cardinals last season, leading them to an 11-2 record, a final AP ranking of 13 and a win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Meanwhile, Jason McIntyre over at The Big Lead has the Cardinals picking fifth and also selecting a quarterback — Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

Carson Palmer turns 34 in December. Very curious to see Mariota’s follow-up to an fantastic freshman season … without Chip Kelly.

Mariota was spectacular as a redshirt freshman in 2012, leading Oregon to a number-two national ranking and a Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State. The Hawaii native completed 68.5 percent of his passes and was responsible for 37 touchdowns.

WalterFootball.com believes the Cardinals will pick fifth and select former Scottsdale Chaparral High star Taylor Lewan, a tackle out of Michigan.

The Arizona beat writers repeatedly tried to tell everyone that the Cardinals felt content at the tackle position, given that Levi Brown was coming back from injury and Bobby Massie improved tremendously in the second half of his rookie campaign (he didn’t allow a single sack after Week 8).

That’s all good, but what if Brown struggles again? Left tackle will definitely be in play, so Arizona may consider Taylor Lewan, who probably would have been the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft had he declared.

Dan Kadar at SB Nation has Arizona as the owners of the fifth pick and taking a different tackle — Jake Matthews of Texas A&M.

One of the strange moves of the draft this year is the Cardinals not taking an offensive tackle. They’ll soon find this year that relying on Levi Brown, Nate Potter or Bobby Massie at tackle isn’t wise. Some contend that Matthews is a better prospect than former teammate Luke Joeckel.

And Bleacher Report got into the act as well — and, if you’re wondering, their ridiculously early mock draft is presented in a slideshow.

Anyway, they’ve got the Cardinals drafting fifth and taking Clemson signal caller Tajh Boyd.

Boyd is a great athlete for the position who can work the ball downfield better than Palmer could in his prime. He has fantastic arm talent and great touch. He’s a perfect fit for Bruce Arians’ scheme and is going to shed a lot of the “system”/”dual-threat” stigma this season.

Boyd threw for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns and added over 500 rushing yards and 10 ground touchdowns for an 11-2 Tigers team.

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It’s never too early: A look at 2014 NFL mock drafts for Cardinals