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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock: Cardinals

By Josh Weinfuss

The closer the NFL draft gets, the higher the general consensus has become that the Arizona Cardinals will choose a quarterback in the first round.

ESPN Insider Todd McShay is among those who Insider believe Carson Palmer's replacement can be found at the 20th pick. But who McShay has picked to be the future of the Cardinals’ offense might raise a few eyebrows in the desert -- not because of his talent, but because McShay believes he’ll still be on the draft board.

If McShay was choosing for the Cardinals at No. 20, he would select Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and I agree with him.

If Bridgewater is available when the Cardinals are on the clock, picking him is almost a no-brainer. He already has the foundation of a skill set that can be groomed by Cardinals coach Bruce Arians and assistant coach Tom Moore. And any deficiencies in Bridgewater’s game, which as of late have centered around his throwing motion, can be rectified during the next 10 months as he sits behind Palmer. If that is what has been a concern for teams, the Cardinals are in a good spot, because they don’t need Bridgewater to come in and play immediately.

However, the major issue in my eyes with Bridgewater is he’s only 6-foot-3, and we’ve seen how Arians’ offense has done with quarterbacks shorter than 6-5. But Bridgewater has the ability to scramble and make plays with his feet, which is becoming a necessity in the league these days.

He has the background in running a pro-style offense, so learning the Cards’ system wouldn’t be a difficult task. It’s the technical part of the game he would have to refine, and there are no better people to do it under than Arians and Moore.

If Bridgewater is there at No. 20, McShay is right: The Cardinals have to take him.