Does Carson Palmer’s Addition Change QB Plans in Arizona?

Many mock drafts previously had Geno Smith heading to Arizona since there was a clear hole at quarterback (sorry Drew Stanton, but nobody took Arians’ insistence in your abilities seriously).

The addition of Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders is sure to throw a wrench in that belief–why take a quarterback at seventh-overall when there are clear needs at pass-rusher and offensive line?

This year’s quarterback crop may not be top-heavy like years past, but there is plenty of talent to have in the second or third rounds. Something to keep in mind here is that Bruce Arians favors a vertical attack with a strong-armed quarterback, so several quarterbacks are likely nowhere to be seen on Arizona’s draft board (I’m looking at you Matt Barkley).

There’s no lack of strong-armed quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, with many of them projected in the first four rounds. Here a few of them:

  • E.J. Manuel (Florida St.) – projected second-round
  • Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) – projected second-round
  • Mike Glennon (North Carolina St.) – projected second/third-round
  • Tyler Bray (Tennessee) – projected second/third-round
  • Landry Jones (Oklahoma) – projected third/fourth-round

As you can see, Arians and company have several quarterbacks they can target and still upgrade on the likes of Drew Stanton or Brian Hoyer as the quarterback of the future behind Palmer–who’s contract with Arizona includes $16 million over the next two seasons, with an ability to make a further $4 million in incentives.

Palmer’s addition makes the possibility of taking a tackle–with the favorite being Oklahoma’s quarterback-turned-tackle Lane Johnson–at seventh-overall, although there’s always a possibility that Arizona could look at guard or outside linebacker.

The clear fallout of the Carson Palmer acquisition is that Smith is likely to head to Buffalo at eighth-overall if he doesn’t get taken in the top-five.

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