Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story with the latest 2018 NFL mock draft picks for the Arizona Cardinals.

The 2017 NFL draft is in the books and the Arizona Cardinals received (mostly) positive marks.

But what about next year’s draft?

Early mock drafts are out for 2018 (seriously) and while we admit it is way too early to speculate who the Cardinals could take in next year’s draft, we admit that we were curious to take a look at them.

NFL DRAFT GRADES:How did the Cardinals fare in 2017? 

MORE DRAFT: What writers are saying about Cardinals’ first pick

Where do writers have Arizona picking? Who are players being linked to the team at this (ridiculously) early point?

The Heat Index takes a look:

walterfootball.com: Cardinals take UCLA QB Josh Rosen at No. 20

It writes: “There was great speculation that the Cardinals would take a quarterback this past draft. I never bought into that because Arizona doesn’t let information leak out like that. However, the fact remains that the Cardinals need to find a successor for Carson Palmer. Josh Rosen was once the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he’s been passed by Sam Darnold and now even Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. NFL coaches and owners are wary of the sort of things Rosen has discussed to the media, and his open views could hurt him. Scouts have told us that his teammates don’t like him either, so that’s a major strike against him. And for the cherry on top, even if his high school coach criticized him.”

nflmocks.com: Cardinals select SMU WR Courtland Sutton at No. 15

Erik Lambert writes: “Getting their next quarterback isn’t going to be easy. The Arizona Cardinals might be too good at this point. That sounds weird sure but the meaning is they aren’t bad enough to secure a high draft pick that they’d need to get one of the top quarterbacks in this draft class. So rather than select what would be the fifth quarterback on the board, they decide to bolster the offensive weaponry instead.”

RELATED: Arizona Cardinals NFL draft history – QBs | WRs | RBs | DBs | LBs

CBS Sports: Cardinals go with Louisville QB Lamar Jackson at No. 20

R.J. White writes: “Jackson could be the biggest wild-card of the 2018 draft heading into this season, as personnel departments may be unwilling to stake their futures to a guy some consider unlikely to develop into an NFL-caliber quarterback. But let Bruce Arians at the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and his upside has a great chance of being unlocked. In the 20s, gambling on Jackson’s talent makes sense.”

Luke Easterling writes: “Carson Palmer will turn 38 this season, and the Bird Gang needs to find an eventual successor to groom behind him. The 2018 quarterback class has some promising prospects, and despite four of them being off the board at this point, the Cards still get a prolific passer in Falk. His big numbers will be dismissed by some as being simply the product of the Air Raid offense, but a closer look at the film reveals that Falk has everything necessary to become a quality NFL starter.”

sandiegouniontribune.com: Cardinals take Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown at No. 19

Eddie Brown writes: “The Cardinals failed to find Larry Fitzgerald’s successor this year. St. Brown is a polished route runner with incredible body control and soft hands. Top needs: WR, QB, CB”

MORE: Cardinals’ first-round NFL draft picks since 2000

CBS Sports: Cardinals take Falk at No. 20

Will Brinson writes: “Our fifth quarterback of the draft! The Cardinals were a candidate to draft a quarterback early and whether or not Carson Palmer is coming back for 2017, they’re going to need to plan for the future.”

Bleacher Report: Cardinals go with Sutton at No. 18

Matt Miller writes: “The Cardinals didn’t get the chance to draft a quarterback early in the 2017 first round, and they don’t get a chance here either. What the team can do is grab a wide receiver to begin learning under Larry Fitzgerald and be someone to eventually take his place as the top threat in the offense. After a draft focused heavily on defense, the Cardinals look loaded up for a run in the NFC West. That leaves the offense looking thin for the future, though, with Carson Palmer and Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers. Assuming Palmer can hang on a little longer—and the team must think that given its lack of urgency in grabbing a quarterback—putting Sutton on the roster allows John Brown and Jaron Brown to stretch defenses on the inside. Sutton would have had a Round 1 grade if he declared early for the 2017 draft. At 6’4″ and 215 pounds, there’s some A.J. Green to his game.”

Sporting News: Cardinals select Jackson at No. 18

Eric Galko writes: “Jackson could rise to first overall consideration with a strong junior season. His athleticism and arm talent doesn’t fit what NFL teams covet in a top-10 passer, but his upside is tremendous.”

MORE: Ranking the biggest NFL draft busts of all time

FOX Sports: Cardinals take Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham at No. 10

Dieter Kurtenbach writes: “One year at Auburn after the transfer from Baylor pushes one of the best arm talents in the nation into the first round. The dual-threat has a tremendous year on The Plains and Arizona finds Carson Palmer’s replacement.”

landof10.com: Cardinals take Alabama WR Calvin Ridley at No. 16

fanragsports.com: Cardinals select Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph at No. 18

Joe Marino writes: “Carson Palmer is nearing the end of his career, so it’s time for the Cardinals to find his replacement. Rudolph is a big-armed passer who excels at working the football down the field. He is a great fit for coach Bruce Arians’ offense.”

The Big Lead: Cardinals pick Rudolph at No. 12

Jason McIntyre writes: “One of the quiet upsets of the 2017 draft was the Cardinals not taking a QB. If this is Carson Palmer’s final year, what’s the future look like?”

NFL MERCHANDISE SALES:2 Cardinals make Top 50


MORE: NFL’s Top 100 players – 4 Cardinals make rankings

MORE: NFL’s highest paid players – 2017 rankings

NFL FAN RANKINGS: Cardinals fans getting worse

For more from The Heat Index, go to heatindex.azcentral.com.

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