by Rich Bystron
2017 was not an ideal season for the Cards. While 8-8 was an improvement on the 7-8-1 from 2016, it was still another season missing the playoffs in a division that quickly turned around. Maybe the bigger storyline was the final season for Coach Bruce Arians as well as the retirement of Quarterback Carson Palmer.
The Cardinals came into the offseason with not much room to play in free agency. With only about 27 million dollars available they were in the bottom of the league in money available. They currently sit at approximately 12.8 million dollars available after rookies are paid.
As you can imagine, replacing your head coach and a franchise quarterback is not easy to do. But after hiring Wilks the Cards feel like they at least temporarily filled that hole with the 2-year signing of Sam Bradford. While Bradford has battled injury his entire career if healthy can be a legit replacement to Palmer. While most of the moves made this offseason are minor, one major shakeup was releasing All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu.
While the Cards lack money for free agents, they do have 7 picks in the draft including 5 in the top 134. I would not be shocked to see the team move up to take a Quarterback. But assuming they stay at pick 15, these players make sense.
Tremaine Edmunds, 19 years old????? YEP, but at 6’4 253 kid has the NFL body already, considering all the issues that the defense is having this pick almost makes too much sense. Fitting in that defense would be ideal.
Calvin Ridley, the Cards need help. Larry Fitzgerald is not getting any younger and Ridley would be that kind of replacement. While not an immediate impact player, he is a player that can grow with your franchise quarterback.
Baker Mayfield: The Sooners quarterback and Heisman Winner has the potential to be a legit NFL stud, he also has the makeup to explode and crash and burn, either way if the Sooners signal caller is available at 12 I think the Cards would love to pull the trigger, especially they have had 3 private meeting with his so far as of 04-06-18.
Mason Rudolph: I think this pick would be more logical is the Cards traded back, however with the way QB’s are overvalued in the 1st it may be necessary to draft him at 15. At 6’5 Rudolph has prototypical size and mobility, ironically, his issue might actually be arm strength. But he reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins, not a lot of flash but will just get the job done.
Regardless of what the Cards do at 15 or somewhere else, they have a lot of ground to make up in the NFC West, the Rams and 49ers look like they are building legit powerhouses. The Cards need to start rebuilding and they need to start fast.