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NFL Arizona Cardinals

Rant Sports 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals select Matt Barkley at No. 7

Matt Barkley, Arizona Cardinals

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals need a franchise quarterback and Matt Barkley is their best bet at being that savior in this draft and, yes, I do realize the Cardinals have already traded for Carson Palmer. Technically, with the addition of Palmer, the Cardinals most immediate pressing need is on the offensive line and if Barkley would have been selected already, I would have taken offensive tackle Lane Johnson of Oklahoma for them. I wouldn’t have reached for a quarterback just for the sake of it.

If you’re a Cardinals fan and care about the long term success of your team you should want that potential franchise quarterback who will be with you for over a decade and not a stop-gap solution who may have a few years remaining, especially when you’re in a division with teams that are going to dominate now like the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. In addition, the St. Louis Rams are a rapidly improving team with extra high draft picks coming their way thanks to the Washington Redskins in their desire to draft Robert Griffin III last April.

If you’re the Cardinals, you must think about what is the best for you in the long run and that means selecting a quarterback who will hold a clipboard for a year or two while Palmer finishes his career. If you’re a fan of the Cardinals, you should want to demand that their next couple of draft picks be used on offensive linemen so that Barkley doesn’t get destroyed when he does get his chance. As poorly as some rookie offensive linemen play, these guys couldn’t do any worse than some of the players the Cardinals have been throwing out there on its line the past few years so it would benefit Palmer in the near future as well.

Quarterback is the most important position in all of professional sports and that is part of the reason why Barkley should be drafted by the Cardinals. While it isn’t sexy to use a first-round draft pick on a position who won’t see the field for a year or two, it is the responsible thing to do if you want to look out for your long term interests as opposed to putting a band aid on your current situation.

At No. 8, the Buffalo Bills select…

Bob writes about the Seattle Seahawks for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @seahawksbob.