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Monday, December 3, 2012
Around the NFC West: Cards' draft order

By Mike Sando

The Arizona Cardinals stand ninth in the NFL draft order for 2013 as they ride an eight-game losing streak into Week 14.

I figured we could start there on this Monday morning following one of the more dispiriting defeats the Cardinals have endured under sixth-year coach Ken Whisenhunt.

There are more immediate issues to consider, such as whether Ryan Lindley will remain the starting quarterback after Arizona failed to convert any of its 15 third-down chances during a 7-6 defeat to the New York Jets.

First, though, let's consider the current draft order, provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

Kansas City (2-10), Jacksonville (2-10), Oakland (3-9), Philadelphia (3-9) and Carolina (3-9) stand in front of the line, in that order. San Diego (4-8), Cleveland (4-8) and Detroit (4-8) would pick before Arizona (4-8) as things stand.

Tennessee (4-8) would round out the top 10.

The Cardinals' current slide, if sustained, would increase their chances for selecting one of the top college quarterbacks. The organization must address that position in the offseason in the absence of some magical late-season revival.

Lindley completed 10 of 31 passes for 72 yards Sunday. He has zero touchdown passes with five interceptions this season. His struggles are amplifying questions about the offensive staff in general and specifically Whisenhunt's ability to evaluate/develop quarterbacks.

In my view, Kevin Kolb has to start against Seattle in Week 14 if he is healthy enough to do so. Going back to John Skelton would be preferable to watching the offense perform the way it has performed with Lindley behind center.

It's not a stretch to think the Cardinals might have held on to beat Atlanta and then beaten the Jets had Skelton remained the starter. It's not a stretch to think Arizona might have beaten the Jets even with Derek Anderson or Matt Leinart in the lineup.

Staying the course might help only the Cardinals' draft status.