ESPN’s Jaworski: Arizona Cardinals taking Blake Bortles ‘would not surprise me’
May 7, 2014, 11:39 PM | Updated: 11:40 pm
What the Arizona Cardinals will do with the 20th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is anyone’s guess.
For his part, ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski thinks they should add to their defense.
“I still believe there’s probably a need for a safety on the football team,” he told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “There’s probably a need for that good outside pass rushing linebacker during this draft.”
That would seem to fall in line with what most pundits think, with the idea being that the Cardinals are maybe one or two pieces away from having a dominant defense, and thus should focus their efforts there.
But when you’re picking as late as the Cardinals are and with just six picks (for now) in the draft, Jaworski said it will be up to GM Steve Keim to really navigate his way through the three-day event and come out with some impact players.
And really, the only position the Cardinals could draft that isn’t likely to make an impact, at least in 2014, would be quarterback. With Carson Palmer entrenched as the starter, they wouldn’t think of “wasting” a pick on his future replacement, right?
“I think in principle I would agree with that,” Jaworski said. “But the guy I like is (Blake) Bortles. I would not be shocked if they went for Bortles at number 20.
“I think he’s a guy that projects well for the type of offense that Bruce likes to run, that Tom Moore likes to run. The ball explodes out of this guy’s hand. He has every throw. He’s tough, he can hang in the pocket.”
A 6-foot-4 quarterback, Bortles is coming off a season in which he threw for 3,581 yards and 25 touchdowns. He led the University of Central Florida to an upset win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl, and is regarded as one of the top passers in the draft.
But at the same time, Jaworski — like many others — is reluctant to say there are any franchise quarterbacks in this draft, which is perhaps why he expects the passer to be available when the Cardinals are on the clock.
“Bortles would not surprise me at number 20,” he said. “I think that’s the only quarterback that’s going to go in the first round.”