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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Around the NFC West: QB draft lessons

By Mike Sando

The Arizona Cardinals head to the NFL scouting combine with the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft and an unsettled situation at quarterback.


Their division rivals from San Francisco were in a similar spot two years ago. The 49ers passed on the available quarterbacks at No. 7, choosing outside linebacker Aldon Smith in that slot when Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder were available.

San Francisco took quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second round.

Two years later, Smith set a franchise record with 19.5 sacks. Kaepernick played a leading role in the 49ers' push to Super Bowl XLVII.

The lesson learned was a familiar one. Do not reach for a need at the expense of talent.

NFL teams holding the seventh through 10th overall picks have drafted five quarterbacks in that range over the last 10 drafts. Ryan Tannehill, Locker, Gabbert, Matt Leinart and Byron Leftwich were the selections. Andre Ware (1990), Todd Blackledge (1983), Phil Simms (1979) and Marty Domres (1969) were the only other quarterbacks selected in that range during the common draft era.