Updated May 7, 2014 - 10:35 am
Hey Cardinals, take Blake Bortles (if he's there at 20)
The needless wait will soon be over and we will have our answer to the question everyone asks and no one knows.
WHO WANTS JOHNNY MANZIEL?
I'm sick of talking about him. You're sick of hearing about him. Yet everybody's got an opinion on him. Even some of the smartest football people in football can't agree on Manziel's success or failure chances.
I think he's gone at number three to Jacksonville. I'll write it in stone he doesn't get past the seventh pick. Either way, Manziel stays in Florida as a Jaguar or a Buccaneer.
Which brings up a second question: should the Cardinals take a quarterback with the 20th pick in the draft? The answer: No. Next question: Should the Cardinals draft Blake Bortles? The answer: Yes.
Those aren't two exclusive questions. The Cardinals do need a quarterback of the future but they don't need to hurry. Carson Palmer improved dramatically with more experience in Bruce Arians' offense. He's definitely the guy for 2014 and probably for 2015. The Cardinals shouldn't go into this draft with the goal of replacing Palmer. Arizona is too close to the playoffs to worry about the future. The NFC West is too deep as it is to get ready for 2016 now. The talent in the 2014 draft is so thick, you can't pass on a talented player to draft a quarterback.
I stand by everything I wrote in the last paragraph unless you say Blake Bortles is still on the board at number 20. The Packers did not enter the 2005 draft needing to find Brett Favre's replacement. Green Bay did not prepare to have Aaron Rodgers on the board at 24 during their draft preparations. Suddenly, they're on the clock and he's in the Green Room. The pick is in.
I'm not saying Bortles is the next Rodgers. I do think Bortles brings a lot to the table. I think he will be a successful NFL quarterback. I think he's very undervalued. I haven't the slightest idea if he'll still be there at number 20. If he's available, jump. Ask yourself this question: Do you think Packer fans are happy with drafting Rodgers?
Since I don't think Bortles will be there, I want Darqueze Dennard. Ryan Shazier, Calvin Pryor and Taylor Lewan are also wonderful choices for the Cardinals. Draft any one of them and the 2014 Cardinals are better than the 2013 variety. Blake Bortles does not make you better. He does nothing to close the gap between Arizona and the top two teams in the division. He's the right choice anyway.
This draft is too deep to trade up. Don't reach for Bortles. There's a lot of great choices for the Arizona Cardinals at 20, but accepting a gift is not a choice. The Cards should take Blake.
Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug & Wolf
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