Behind Door #2: The Underwhelming state of the Cardinals Quarterback Position

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By PFC Blogger Micah Gould

The post-Kurt Warner era of Cardinals quarterbacks has been at best comical (look at how small Max Hall is!) to downright depressing (literally everything else, especially Derek Anderson). The inability to address the game’s most important position resulted in Ken Whisenhunt’s firing and new head coach Bruce Arians uttering the same quote about possibly seeing “what’s behind door #2” throughout the off-season.

With a draft class lacking any clear-cut ‘franchise QBs,’ an especially dearth market has left the Cardinals in a precarious spot as they seek to find stability and success from the quarterback position.

Assuming Brian Hoyer is tendered, as is expected, the Cardinals have all 4 -yes, 4-starters from last year’s team under contract. Kevin Kolb has the best pedigree of the bunch, having gone 3-2 as a starter in 2012 (as well as an impressive winning drive off the bench against Seattle week 1) but also carries an unreasonable 13.5 mil cap hit considering the durability issues he’s had. Kolb has shown enough competence, though he’s far from ideal, but only playing 15 games in his two seasons doesn’t allow for much faith going forward. All that said, I continue to believe Kolb on a restructured contract is the best answer for 2013 after considering the other options.

As far as those already on roster all have had opportunity and none have had success. Both Skelton and Lindley, who are essentially the same player, have had accuracy problems dating back to college and seem to struggle with their reads. Hoyer is a nice backup, but nothing more.

Door #2 unfortunately doesn’t yield many better options. Matt Moore is the top free agent quarterback, and while rumors of Drew Stanton have circulated due to his ties to Arians, its hard to imagine the team selling the fan base on that after the struggles of the last few years. Unfortunately it doesn’t look much better in the draft either.

Geno Smith, the draft’s top ranked QB may be available at 7 when the Cards pick, and while there is a lot of debate as to whether he’s worth a top-10 pick, he’s the only QB in this class who conceivably could be an upgrade in 2013. Rumors flew around the Combine that they’re deadest on taking Matt Barkley at 7, but its since been refuted strongly by those around the team and does not align with GM Steve Keim’s history.

The elephant in the room of course is the offensive line, which if not upgraded will ensure they next starter fails as those before him. The return of Levi Brown should help, because absolutely anybody is better than 8 games of d’anthony batiste, and after a terrible start Bobby Massie showed a lot of improvement in the second half of the season.

With a draft featuring two top-10 worthy tackles, the Cards should have plenty of options at the position. What should keep fans up at night is Adam Snyder continuing to start. Upgrading at guard, with Chance Warmack a definite possibility, and providing a pocket to step into would go a long way in improving the QB play.

It seems suspicious there has been no mention of restructuring discussions with Kolb, but I continue to think that is the best option for them. From there I imagine the Cards will spend one of their first 2 picks on the position. If Geno is sitting there at 7 I think he’ll be hard to pass up on and if not him, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them trade back up into the late first to ensure they get their pick of the second tier. Regardless of which door they choose, the quarterback options for the Cards aren’t anything to get excited about.