When Bruce Arians takes stock of the quarterbacks available in next month’s NFL draft, he doesn’t see a clear-cut franchise guy. For the Cardinals, who choose at No. 20 overall in the first round, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Unlike when Andrew Luck and Cam Newton came out in recent years, there is considerable debate surrounding the value of the top signal-callers available. Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Fresno State’s Derek Carr are projected as first-round selections, but pundits are split on who is the best and where each will be selected.
Bridgewater might be the best example, as some mock drafts have him as the top quarterback available and others have him sliding to the second round. Since the Cardinals
“I don’t know how many of them have a ‘Wow’ factor, but there are some really, really good ones, guys that are going to play in the league for a long time,” Arians said Wednesday at the Cardinals Charities Celebrity Golf Classic at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler. “I don’t see an Andrew Luck, a Ben Roethlisberger or Peyton Manning, but I do see some guys that are very capable of playing.”
“We don’t have one (specific area to target),” Arians said. “That’s the beauty. (General Manager) Steve (Keim) did a great job in free agency. We can take the team we have right now and go play. We don’t need anything.”
PUP LIKELY FOR MATHIEU, BUT HIS OPTIMISM REMAINS
“I think Ty is still going to be up to the wire,” Arians said. “I still anticipate him on (the physically unable to perform list), but he refuses to believe it. That’s a good thing.”
When Mathieu originally suffered the injury on Dec. 8 against the Rams, he spoke optimistically of a camp return, and Arians’ comments on Wednesday didn’t change that thinking.
“When my team takes the field, I want to take the field, too,” Mathieu said. “I don’t know if I’ll be pushing it, but it’s what I want. I’ll be pushing for that, shooting for that. But if not, I’m fine with the trainers’ and the doctors’ decision.”
ALEXANDER PROGRESSING AFTER UNCERTAINTY
However, Alexander has gotten over a hurdle in the rehabilitation process and hopes to be fully operational by the end of OTAs.
“I was really worried about Lorenzo,” Arians said. “Those are really tricky. So many guys don’t ever come back, or come right back and injure it again. We’re going to be very careful with his, but he is looking really, really good right now.”
Alexander is a special teams standout and can play both inside and outside linebacker, so he could be a valuable piece in 2014. He said he’s at the point now where he can make all the moves needed, including running, jumping and changing direction.
“I’ve done everything that’s in a non-competitive format,” Alexander said. “Obviously I just want to continue to work and eventually be able to (practice fully).”
Arians said he’s happy with the progress of all the players who suffered significant injuries last year, which included Mathieu, Alexander, linebacker
“Everybody’s either in the program full speed or right on schedule,” Arians said.