Arizona Cardinals fill needs, leave QB of the future to the future

Budda Baker should fill a big Cardinals need at safety, and could even play some corner. AP Photo/Matt York

Biggest post-draft questions still to be answered by the Arizona Cardinals:

When will the Cardinals find their QB of the future? In two words: Next year. This was the year that many thought the Cardinals would draft Carson Palmer’s replacement, but the draft came and went without Arizona selecting a quarterback. Thus, it will wait until 2018, when they’ll either draft his successor or sign a veteran. It might not be what the fans want, but that’s how it’ll be. The draft didn’t shake out this year in a way that made sense for Arizona to spend a pick on a quarterback.

What’s in store at cornerback? Finding a cornerback was a need for the Cardinals this year, and with the run of them -- 29 were drafted in the first three rounds – it would have stood to reason that Arizona could have found one. It took the team moving back into the sixth round and sending their two seventh-round picks to Oakland in exchange for the 208th pick to draft Rudy Ford, a multidimensional defensive back from Auburn who Arizona will use as a cornerback. He last played outside cornerback exclusively in 2013, but has been working at it primarily during the offseason.

Is the current tight ends room deep enough? Yes and no. Arizona has four tight ends currently on the roster: Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah and Hakeem Valles. In numbers, it does. But aside from Gresham, Arizona is missing a tight end who made an impact last season. Both Niklas and Momah are coming off injuries. The Cardinals could find bodies to compete as undrafted free agents.

Did all the Cardinals’ needs get met in this year’s draft? Pretty much. Arizona came in with some glaring needs, namely at inside linebacker, cornerback and safety. It crossed off all three on their to-draft list, selecting linebacker Haason Reddick in the first round and safety Budda Baker, who could also double as a corner if needed, in the second, and Ford in the sixth. They also had not-so-glaring needs, such as wide receiver, returner and a quarterback. Arizona drafted wide receiver Chad Williams and running back T.J. Logan, who can also double as a returner. The only need the team didn’t fill, however, was quarterback. But after listening to coach Bruce Arians’ post-draft news conference, the months of talk about a quarterback might have been a giant smoke screen.