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Drew Stanton changes Arizona Cardinals' draft focus

Now that Kevin Kolb has been released, Drew Stanton is the clubhouse leader to be under center for the Arizona Cardinals when the 2013 regular season opens in September.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported on "Total Access" Friday that the Cardinals will likely go in a different direction with the No. 7 overall pick in the NFL draft.

While there is no surefire franchise quarterback available this year, three left tackle prospects are worthy of going off the board in the top 10 picks. Outside of quarterback, the offensive line is the most glaring weak spot on Arizona's roster.

"What I do hear from the Cardinals (is) it's unlikely that they would draft a quarterback in the first round," Rapoport said. "So it looks like going into the 2013 season, it's going to be (Brian) Hoyer versus Stanton."

After playing under new head coach Bruce Arians in Indianapolis last season, Stanton would seem to have a clear edge over Hoyer. It doesn't hurt that his arm-strength advantage will also play better in Arians' vertical offense.

It makes sense for the Cardinals to concentrate on improving their roster in a stacked NFC West if the personnel department doesn't view West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith as the solution. Perhaps Arians can find his own version of Russell Wilson next year -- if not in the second or third round next month.

On other hand, it's shame that the organization seems willing to waste another season of Larry Fitzgerald's Hall of Fame prime with a quarterback sporting a career 55.6 percent completion rate.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling

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