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Draft Primer 2016: Quarterbacks

Will the Cardinals find their signal-caller of the future in the draft?

The NFL draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago. The Cardinals have addressed many of their biggest needs through the Chandler Jones trade and free agency but will aim to add more impact pieces. We'll take a look at each position group over the next few weeks as the draft beckons.

Draft primer: Quarterback

Cardinals under contract:Carson Palmer; Drew Stanton; Matt Barkley

Need: Medium

Images of the quarterbacks projected to get drafted in late April

Analysis: The Cardinals re-signed Drew Stanton to a two-year deal last month, so the top of their depth chart is set as he will back up Carson Palmer. Matt Barkley is currently penciled in as the third-stringer, and he will make his case to stay there this offseason.

The Cardinals could go into the 2016 season with that trio, or they could draft a quarterback with plans to groom him for a couple seasons. Palmer put up the best numbers of his career in 2015, but will turn 37 in December. Only Tom Brady (38) and Drew Brees (37) are older among quarterbacks who are locks to start next season and the Cardinals very much want to seamlessly transition from the Palmer era to a new one while remaining a contender.

Carson Wentz and Jared Goff are the consensus top two quarterbacks in the draft and are expected to be chosen in the top-10. The Cardinals choose at No. 29 overall, where the rest of the signal-caller prospects could be available. Memphis' Paxton Lynch is projected as a borderline first-rounder, while Michigan State's Connor Cook, Ohio State's Cardale Jones, Penn State's Christian Hackenberg and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott could be second-day selections.

Many are pining for the Cardinals to choose a quarterback in the draft. However, General Manager Steve Keim won't pick one early unless he believes in his skills. If that doesn't shape up, the Cardinals could also take on more of a project, like they did with fourth-rounder Logan Thomas in 2014. With Palmer's career coming to a close, this would be the perfect time to draft a quarterback of the future. The trick is finding that player without the benefit of a high first-round draft choice.

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