"I don't know how many of them have a 'wow' factor, but there are some really, really good ones, guys that are going to play in the league for a long time," Arians said Wednesday at a Cardinals charity event. "I don't see an Andrew Luck, a Ben Roethlisberger or Peyton Manning, but I do see some guys that are very capable of playing."
Arians' take, then, is the same as almost every analyst's. Quarterbacks such as Luck and Manning only come around once a decade, and there are no can't-miss quarterbacks in this class. But as Arians said, there are some signal-callers in this class who should play in the NFL for a long time -- and Arizona could be in the market for one of them.
Carson Palmer, a former first-round pick, is entrenched as the Cardinals' starter, but he'll be 35 in December. The adage that "it's better to sell a year too early rather than a year too late" certainly applies to quarterbacks, so given the depth of this quarterback class, it definitely makes sense for Arizona to grab one. How early they go for one is the question.
Could it be the first round? Arians said he and his coaches "can take the team we have right now and go play. We don't need anything." In that case, going for a quarterback who could sit behind Palmer for a year or two, then take over seemingly would have some appeal to Arians and the Cardinals.
Two of the mock drafts posted at NFL.com have the Cardinals selecting a quarterback at No. 20 in the first round. NFL Media draft analyst Charles Davis has them taking UCF's Blake Bortles, while fellow analyst Daniel Jeremiah has them selecting Fresno State's Derek Carr. Davis is projecting a first-round tumble for Bortles, while Carr seemingly could be in play for every team picking in the 20s.
If Arizona doesn't go for a quarterback, it could stand to shore up its secondary. Five corners are expected to go in the first round, and two or three of the top five still could be there when the Cardinals pick. Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson is one of the best in the league at his position and the Cardinals signed Antonio Cromartie in free agency. But Cromartie turned 30 earlier this month, and going young at cornerback in the NFC West makes sense. What also makes sense is trying to grab a safety in the first round, but the two best in this draft -- Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor -- could (should?) be gone at 20.