Remember when Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy back in 2002? Yeah, me neither. While Palmer is the starting QB for the Arizona Cardinals for now, rookie Logan Thomas presents interesting upside for fantasy football owners, particularly in dynasty leagues.
The Cardinals selected Thomas out of Virginia Tech in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 120th overall pick. While Thomas showed flashes of his remarkable talents in college, he was also wildly inconsistent, causing his draft stock to fall. However, the rookie QB has immense upside.
Thomas is 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, but he can run a 4.54 40-yard dash, garnering comparisons between him and Cam Newton, who is 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds and runs a 4.56 40-yard dash. It’s easy to see the amazing potential Thomas offers Arizona at the QB position as a dual-threat.
During the Cardinals’ preseason rout of the Houston Texans on Aug. 9, Thomas played the entire second half. He looked terrific, completing 11-of-12 pass attempts for 113 yards and a TD. He demonstrated great arm strength, pocket awareness and improved accuracy. Of course, this was a preseason game.
Palmer and veteran backup Drew Stanton also looked pretty good against the Texans. Palmer completed all five of his pass attempts for 84 yards and a TD, and Stanton was 11-for-17 for 152 yards and a TD. However, Palmer will be 35 years old in December. Though his contract technically goes through the 2015 season, the Cardinals would face minimal repercussions if they release Palmer after the 2014 season.
Stanton is technically second on the depth chart right now. But during his last stint with the Detroit Lions in 2010, Stanton only completed 58 percent of his passes and had four TDs, three INTs and three fumbles. Stanton is signed through 2015 as well, but he’s not exactly who the Cardinals want leading the offense if at all possible.
Ryan Lindley is also on the roster, but in six games played with the Cardinals back in 2012, he completed only 52 percent of his passes. Lindley also has no career TDs to go with his seven INTs and two fumbles. He’ll be lucky to be employed at all in a couple more years.
Thomas has the highest potential out of all the QBs currently employed by the Cardinals. He just needs the opportunity to see the field. It’s likely that Palmer plays out his contract as the starter in Arizona for most, if not all, of the 2014 season. However, Thomas has a pretty good chance to take over late in 2014 or begin the 2015 season as the Cardinals’ starting QB.
With a strong defense along with rising stars Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington, the Cardinals are on the verge of greatness. If he can continue to develop, Thomas could be the last piece the Cardinals need to be a legitimate contender in their division and in the league. Thomas is only a deep-league flier or a dynasty hold at this point, but he has shades of Cam Newton in him and could be the future in Arizona.