Cardinals are geniuses, or not

Getty Images

Here’s one lingering item from the first round of the 2017 draft that has come up from time to time this week on PFT Live, but that I’ve yet to share with the PFT audience specifically: The Arizona Cardinals either snookered the Chiefs and Texans — or the Cardinals shot themselves in the foot.

Arizona earned the 13th overall pick, and then Arizona began to make all too obvious its interest in finding a successor to quarterback Carson Palmer. Unless it really wasn’t interested in doing that at all.

There’s no middle ground here. Either the Cardinals, convinced they’d have multiple viable quarterback options available at No. 13, made their interest in drafting someone Palmer willingly would groom too obvious, or the Cardinals successfully planted a false flag in the ground and duped both the Chiefs and Texans to give up future first-round picks in order to leapfrog Arizona.

It’s possible the Cardinals simply miscalculated, assuming based on the rampant pooh-poohing of the 2017 quarterback class early in the pre-draft process that Mitchell Trubisky and/or Patrick Mahomes and/or Deshaun Watson would be available. Through nine picks, two of them were.

Then came pick No. 10, and there went Mahomes. Next came pick No. 12, and farewell went Watson.

It’s also possible that the Cardinals calculated perfectly, puffing the smokescreen until both the Chiefs and Texans believed they had to get above No. 13, necessarily pushing talented non-quarterbacks into Arizona’s lap and ultimately allowing the Cardinals to snare Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.

So it was genius to muse so openly about picking a quarterback, or it was idiocy. Either way, the Cardinals got Reddick, but they still don’t have an in-house successor who can be groomed in 2017 by Palmer, if 2017 ends up being his last year. The real question is whether they decided they wanted to land one in this year’s crop.

If they didn’t, they played the situation perfectly.

37 responses to “Cardinals are geniuses, or not

  1. NFC West Standings, 2017
    1. Cardinals – clearly the dominant team in the division.
    2. Seapigeons – clearly going to get Russell Wilson killed this year.
    3. 49ers – improving!
    4. Rams – improving?

  2. I’d buy this theory more if it happened to be teams in their own division, or even their own conference, who leaped over them to grab QBs. Nonetheless, I still buy this theory.

  3. They could have had QBs (Kizer, Webb, Peterman, Kayaa and others in all other rounds and passed)

    And next year’s draft will probably have 5-6 QBs all better than than years crop…

    I think they played this pretty well

  4. A linebacker obviously isn’t as valuable as a QB, but Haason Reddick is a better football player than all 3 QBs taken ahead of him. Palmer still has a year or two left, and next years draft is stocked with QB talent superior to this years. Darnold, Rosen, Lamar Jackson, list goes on.

  5. I believe they will do whatever it takes to choose Mason Rudolph qb from Oklahoma State next year. Heard rumours of this

  6. Or maybe, the Cardinals just took best player available, like they always do. They couldn’t lose. Take a QB available or a great defensive player. Palmer is available at least for this year, and there’s a great QB class next year. They could afford to wait.

  7. I dont see how it makes them smart.

    Its not like they A.) were the ones who the Texans and Chiefs traded back with or B.) convinced teams in their vision or even conference to traded away future 1st’s for underwhelming QB’s.

  8. They’re not geniuses if they think Carson Palmer can win them a Super Bowl being used the way they’ve been using him. He’s not a franchise quarterback and will not carry a team to a championship. If they focus on defense, a running game, and don’t put too much on him, Palmer could be the quarterback of a Super Bowl winner but you can’t let him gunsling it and expect good results against top competition in the playoffs (assuming they can get there).

  9. Palmer is going to 38 years old in December of this year. I doubt he’ll make through an entire season.

  10. Either you have a franchise QB or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re always looking for one. But whiffing on drafting one makes the situation worse since you’re trying to make it work when it won’t (see Bradford and the Rams).

    Yeah, they don’t have a successor to Palmer, but they didn’t reach for a QB either. That’s not great drafting.

  11. I think the Cards would have only been interested in Mahomes, but they would have wanted to trade back to get him. They can win now with Carson Palmer. I also thought Reddick was the best defensive player in the draft, and perhaps the Cards did too. I’ll bet they were pleasantly surprised when he fell into their lap. I think the Cards got a bonus first rounder in Budda Baker (their 2nd round pick). All those teams picked WRs and allowed all the defensive studs to drop. Arizona just took advantage of everyone else’s mistakes. I don’t know if they planned any of it, but you pretty much count on teams doing stupid things. Especially the teams picking early (that’s why they’re picking early).

  12. Will trade for Brett Huntley next yr. BH will put up decent #’S this preseason, earning GB 2018 3rd and 5th round pix. Book it

  13. The Cards got Reddick right about where he was expected to go predraft. Early teens type prospect There wasn’t any need to try to smoke screen anyone to get Reddick where they did. If they had taken Humphrey or Hooker or Allen then I could see it.

  14. Wouldn’t this be stupid of them to do if they meant it? Think about this, the teams in the top 10, 15ish, normally don’t have anything resembling a franchise QB. Now if AZ was hoping to trick higher end teams into trading higher, that now means that weaker teams (top 15 in draft) have more #1 picks in the 2018 draft.

    Now supposedly 2018 is going to be a better year for QB’s in the draft. AZ is a pretty good team who will most likely fall into the later half of the 2018 draft. If they want a premier QB, how are they going to get it? Buffalo now has 2 2018 first round picks and guess what, they need a QB.

    Again please explain to me how this helped AZ.

  15. So the 13th team selecting in the annual crap shoot was trying to dupe 2 AFC teams? What do you think AZ get out of that thinking?

    If they were top 3 picks overall I may see some possible ploy, but at 10, 12, and 13… No top mock even got the 1st 5 picks right, you think you know what was going on that late?

    Stick to your left wing nonsense, it carries more reasoning.

  16. With Carson taking his time this off season and eventually confirming he was returning for 2017. You darn right they would have jumped on a QB at 13. That is unless they believed Drew Stanton is their next starting QB. That isn’t likely.

  17. Let’s face it, most teams did average in this draft, and really we won’t be able to tell for quite a while anyway. But the reality is Da Bears…..are just horrible at every level…..I mean wow, can someone say Ryan Leaf v. 2.0.

  18. My favorite move was in 2014, when they passed on Derek Carr to take some safety who can’t cover because they thought they were Super Bowl contenders.

    With Carson Palmer.

  19. I live a mile from the Cards training facility and know a few guys who work there. Word is the Cards are thrilled with how it went down.

  20. Seahawks own this division get use to it Pigeons….you will be lucky to be at .500 with the loss of Campbell and other defenders…how did last years draft turn out with Kimmydeechie idiots? Quit patting yourselves on the back twits…All or nothing right clown shoes?…Poor Fitz he deserves better than a hapless team.

  21. chrisj555 says:
    May 5, 2017 4:28 AM
    Seahawks own this division get use to it Pigeons….you will be lucky to be at .500 with the loss of Campbell and other defenders…how did last years draft turn out with Kimmydeechie idiots? Quit patting yourselves on the back twits…All or nothing right clown shoes?…Poor Fitz he deserves better than a hapless team.
    ———————————————————–
    As spoken by a very long time true Seahawks fan, the one who never jumped on the bandwagon because he had that one Christmas pic when he was little wearing a Steve Largent jersey. Most Seachickens couldn’t tell you the name of the QB’s before the Holy Grail Russy came along. I think your head has taken in too much rain.

  22. seahawkboymike says:
    May 4, 2017 9:35 PM
    My favorite move was in 2014, when they passed on Derek Carr to take some safety who can’t cover because they thought they were Super Bowl contenders.

    With Carson Palmer.
    —————————
    They then proceeded to play in the NFC Championship game the very next season. Last time I checked, playing in the game that gets you into the Super Bowl is the very definition of a Super Bowl contender.

  23. This theory is possible, but it’s likely that the Texans-Browns trade for pick #12 had already been discussed during the Osweiller trade.
    But teams are smart to not tip their hands, and to engage in a bit of misdirection. It makes it harder on other teams to plan, and there’s nothing wrong with screwing up several teams’ draft planning, even if just a little bit, by letting them assume you’re taking a QB. Better to not give other teams even a hint of it if you really covet Reddick.
    Texans may have engaged in similar misdirection, indicating “We might not take a QB until the 2nd round.” I think the Texans and Browns knew all along that if either Mahomes or Watson were available, they’d complete a trade that had already been tentatively negotiated.
    Both of the Texans-Browns deals were good for both teams.

  24. Age old conversation. Keim is pretty straightforward with his draft policy. He doesn’t reach and he doesn’t draft for need as much as he drafts for talent.

    Taking QB’s in the first round doesn’t guarantee a team a playoff appearance unless there’s a team already in place. The Cowboys hit gold with their one-two punch of Elliot and Prescott (fourth rounder).

    Statistically, Dallas allowed the fewest rushing yards per game, forcing opponents to throw the ball. Their passing defense was horrible, statistically, but still shows how a run offense/defense mindset allows a coach to control the game.

    The Cardinals can control the offensive side of the ball with a combination of David Johnson and continuing to incorporate the receiving game with more short passing routes. This will help get the ball out faster all the while keeping Palmer upright and healthy.

    Loading up on strong defensive players this year and possibly drafting a young QB next year works for me.

    At this point the NFL Championship will have to go through Atlanta, and I think we all know wherein lies the path of the AFC contenders.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!