The Cardinals have made it evident they will consider – heavily – drafting a quarterback this month.
Maybe it would be at 13 overall in the first round. Maybe at No. 45 in the second round. Maybe the Cardinals move up (or down) in that area to find a successor to
“You have them set on your board where you want to take that quarterback,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “If he falls to you, take him. But don’t reach. If you have one (ranked) in the fourth round, don’t take him in the third round. That’s when you screw up your board, and you’re probably putting him in a position where he doesn’t belong.”
The Cardinals have drafted 13 quarterbacks in the 29 drafts since the franchise moved to Arizona. A look at all 13, from the first round to the 12th:
Matt Leinart (10th overall, 2006): Then-coach Dennis Green called Leinart’s slide to 10th “a gift from heaven.” The
Leinart should have won the starting job in 2010 after Warner’s retirement. But he never fit with Whisenhunt and his play didn’t improve, and the Cards parted ways with him at the end of the preseason.
Timm Rosenbach (supplemental draft, 1989): Rosenbach cost the Cards a first-rounder in 1990 when they snapped him up in the supplemental draft. He had a 3,000-yard season in his first year starting. But he blew out his knee and never regained his abilities or his spot. Those were rough years for the franchise, and it would have been interesting if Rosenbach could have stayed healthy to see what he might have been.
Jake Plummer (42nd overall, 1997): The Cardinals took the hometown hero out of Arizona State and it was worth
Tony Sacca (46th overall, 1992): A pick that raised eyebrows at the time, Sacca lasted just one season with the Cardinals, completing 4-of-11 passes as a third-stringer behind Chris Chandler and Rosenbach.
Josh McCown (81st overall, 2002): The Cardinals liked his arm strength, and later, Green liked him well enough that he was comfortable spending a 2004 third overall pick not on Philip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger but
Stoney Case (80th overall, 1995): He lasted into a fourth season but barely played, with 55 of his 57 Cardinals pass attempts coming in Plummer’s rookie year, when it was clear Plummer was the QB of the future. Despite his draft status, he was never a serious threat to become a starter.
Tom Tupa (68th overall, 1988): The Cardinals did take a quarterback in the first draft as the Phoenix Cardinals. Tupa actually got the majority of work in the 1991 season ahead of Stan Gelbaugh. Tupa had six touchdown passes and 13 interceptions in 315 attempts. He never played QB for the Cards again. A punter, he struggled in that regard as well.
Logan Thomas (120th overall, 2014): The Cardinals took a flier on a guy with lots of physical tools but inconsistent-at-best on-field results in college. It didn’t work. He lasted one season and nine passes (one completion, an 81-yard TD) before being released, and is now trying to become a tight end with the Bills.
John Skelton (155th overall, 2010): Kept as a rookie the year Leinart was cut, Skelton could never harness his big arm with any kind of accuracy. He did guide the Cardinals (with huge help from Fitzgerald, who had an underappreciated great season) to a .500 record in 2011 after the team started 1-6.
Ryan Lindley (185th overall, 2012): Lindley was put on the field much too early, replacing Skelton as a rookie when Kevin Kolb couldn’t stay healthy and the Cardinals couldn’t score. He hung around in the Bruce Arians era, providing a body late in 2014 when injuries took down Palmer and
John Navarre (202nd overall, 2004): Part of the best draft class in Arizona Cardinals history, although his play didn’t exactly add to it. Actually got a start in Detroit as a rookie, when Green decided he didn’t want to play McCown anymore and Shaun King struggled. Navarre shouldn’t have been playing and struggled as expected. He also broke a finger, ending his season. He threw a total of 64 passes in two seasons.
Chris Greisen (239th overall, 1999): A third-stringer for three seasons, he threw 16 passes during the Plummer era.
Jeff Bridewell (309th overall, 1991): He didn’t make it on to the roster.