The Arizona Cardinals have plenty of questions to answer this offseason as new head coach Bruce Arians tries to put together a team that can be competitive in the NFC West next season. One area that must be addressed is under center as the quarterback situation in the desert could be generously categorized as “weak.” With plenty of doubt surrounding the first-round merits of the 2013 class of quarterbacks, could Arizona roll the dice on Mike Glennon in the NFL Draft?
Glennon didn’t lead the NC State Wolfpack to a lot of success on the field during his college career, but his skill set has left many NFL scouts clamoring to see more of him. The 6-foot-6 quarterback has the long, lean frame of a Joe Flacco type of quarterback and a powerful arm to match to go along with good durability and wealth of attractive measurables.
He has arguably the strongest arm of any quarterback coming into the league next season with the arm strength to stretch the field vertically, throwing with an easy motion and proper touch. He’s also shown the ability to change trajectory on his passes to drive the ball and hit back-shoulder throws down the field.
And that’s exactly the kind of quarterback Arians wants in his system. Looking at the coach’s work with Andrew Luck last season, the Indianapolis Colts attacked defenses down the field, leading the league in passes over 20 yards. When Arians was the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he utilized another big, strong-armed quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger while leading the franchise to a couple of Super Bowls.
Glennon has the same kind of make-up as a pocket passer who can drive the ball deep, though Glennon’s athleticism is likely not as good as either Roethlisberger or Luck. His arm strength, though, makes him a much better fit for Arians’ offense than any quarterback the Cardinals currently have on their roster.
The Cardinals will jump on the opportunity to draft Glennon if he is still available in the second round. They should absolutely resist the urge to reach for a quarterback with the No. 7 pick, especially since Glennon, who carries a second-round grade heading into the NFL Combine, does not present good value at that spot. The team should use that high first-round pick to solidify one of their other needs, such as offensive line.
With many teams down on this year’s crop of quarterbacks, it’s very likely Arizona will get the chance to take Glennon in the second round. If another quarterback-needy team takes him off the board before they have the chance, however, look for the Cardinals to turn to another strong-armed quarterback, like Tyler Bray of the Tennessee Volunteers, in the third round.
One way or the other, the quarterback situation in Arizona has to change for Bruce Arians’ offense to run properly, and whoever they bring in needs to bring a cannon for an arm.