Cardinals: Make Your First Pick, the Right Pick

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Cardinals need to make their first round pick count as they won’t pick again until late in the third round.

How much is winning worth to you?

Dallas Cowboys famed ex-head coach Jimmy Johnson penned a draft pick value chart. A chart detailing and assigning a point value for each pick in a draft. For instance, the first pick of the first round of the draft is given a point value of 3,000. Whereas the absolute last pick in the draft ( round 7, pick 32) is given a lowly value of only 2 points. This system can help give us a scope and science from which we can begin to figure out how to evaluate a very simplistic yet complicated aspect of the NFL, the Draft. So if we can ascertain a value for a blank draft pick, what value can there be for a franchise Quarterback?

The mantra is tried and true, the NFL is a Quarterback-driven league. The importance of the Quarterback has never been higher because the NFL’s popularity has never been as high. NFL teams help each other through the revenue sharing model their league prescribes to. Still, the teams that rise to prominence are the ones who enjoy success through winning. And winning has a direct correlation with a QB’s play.

Take the Seattle Seahawks’ 2011 season, a campaign amassing in only 7 wins. Still, that season saw that the team achieved raking in a $260 million intake for revenue. The Seahawks still saw an increase from $260 million to $270 million in revenue the following year, 2012, when they made the playoffs with an 11-5 record.

And yet again in 2013 the Seahawks finally broke through and won the Super Bowl, earning them another $10 million dollar increase in 2013. The fruit of the team’s labor was enjoyed by the owner in 2014, when his team’s revenue increased a whopping $50 million dollars in revenue to pass the $300 million dollar threshold to a jaw-dropping amount of $334 million.

Why is this important? Because, as any good Cardinals fan would begrudgingly know; the Seattle Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson in the 2012 draft, and the Seahawks have seemingly won ever since. Both on the field, and financially off of it.

Russell Wilson’s success has come at the detriment of the Arizona Cardinals ever since he was drafted. It is now time that Arizona should do what the Seahawks did and draft a QB that can be groomed to become the face of the franchise.

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The Cardinals do have a luxury not often bestowed upon many teams in that, Carson Palmer is already playing at a high-level and gives any potential QB the time necessary to learn while being within the comfort of a team who won’t need him until he is ready. It is a step that is becoming necessary evermore as Palmer continues to age and continues to decline in production. And it is with a QB-friendly coach, such as Arizona’s Bruce Arians, that any experimental QB can be utilized to their greatest potential while not having to perform on the field and take the bumps and bruises most highly-drafted QB’s are now accustomed to.

As per what price is right to get this potential QB for the future? The argument can be made that any pick the Cardinals currently possess is worthy of getting him, even the Cardinals’ first pick in the draft, 29th overall.

While there is precedent for a great QB to fall down in the later picks in the draft, a la the Green Bay Packers picking Aaron Rodgers at the 24th spot in the NFL Draft, even a trade upwords could be worth the risk. Robert Griffin III

has set a tone of caution for prospective teams looking to pay a bounty to nab their savior QB. Look to the Philadelphia Eagles and Chip Kelly with his inability to pull the trigger on a trade that could have landed him Marcus Mariota because he thought it was too expensive, per multiple reports.

Regardless, whether it is Paxton Lynch out of Memphis, Cardale Jones out of Ohio State, Christian Hackenberg out of Penn State it doesn’t really matter who the Cardinals draft right now, so long as they do draft a QB with their first pick. 

Because Cardinals fans can feel safe in putting their trust in a coach such as Bruce Arians, who wrings out the most talent from the Quarterbacks he has at his disposal, paired with an upstairs office that has found value throughout each draft. It can be rest assured that the talent evaluators for the Arizona Cardinals would pick the right QB who could surely live up to the expectations one day after the current Palmer-era.

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Now the fate of the future Cardinals rests in the hands of Steve Keim the General Manager and everyone else who decides what to do with their 29th pick. How much do they value winning, and if they don’t take a QB first, can they deal with the losing?