Commentary

Post-draft needs: NFC West

Biggest remaining needs for the Cardinals, Rams, 49ers and Seahawks

Originally Published: May 12, 2011
By Vince Verhei | Football Outsiders
John Skelton, Max Hall and Richard BartelGetty Images, AP PhotoWho will play quarterback in Arizona next season?

This is the last part of an eight-part series in which Football Outsiders looks at the biggest holes remaining on each team after the NFL draft. Usually, that means the biggest holes remaining after the draft and free agency, but obviously 2011 is a little different. So some of these holes may not actually be holes if teams re-sign their players, and other holes will be filled during free agency and won't necessarily last into training camp.


Arizona Cardinals: Quarterback

The Cardinals stuck to their guns, insisting they weren't in love with any of the quarterbacks in the draft and didn't reach for a passer they didn't firmly believe in. They turned down Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder, "settling" instead for LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson, the consensus best overall player in the draft.

For the long-term sake of the franchise, it was probably the best decision. In the short term, though, who will be throwing passes for Arizona this season? It sure won't be Derek Anderson -- he's scheduled to make almost $4.1 million in 2011, about 10 times the salaries of teammates Max Hall, John Skelton or Richard Bartel. If the Cardinals played tomorrow, Skelton would probably be taking snaps.

Thankfully for their fans (and Larry Fitzgerald), Arizona doesn't play tomorrow and it has time to acquire a veteran passer -- and plenty of options. It's believed that Kevin Kolb of the Philadelphia Eagles is the Cardinals' top choice. They could also try to lure Matt Hasselbeck from the Seahawks, Kurt Warner has said that the team should go after Carson Palmer, and Donovan McNabb was recently seen working out with Fitzgerald in Arizona.


To read the rest of Football Outsiders' analysis of the Arizona Cardinals, plus the biggest post-draft needs for every other team in the NFC West, you must be an ESPN Insider.