USA TODAY Sports is ranking each NFL team’s depth chart at every position ahead of training camp and we admit we were intrigued to see where they had the Cardinals’ quarterback situation ranked.
The Cardinals, with Carson Palmer as their starter going into camp, Drew Stanton as the backup and Blaine Gabbert and Trevor Knight also on the roster, come in at No. 18.
Nate Davis writes of the Cardinals situation: “After a career year in 2015, Carson Palmer regressed to the mean. He’ll turn 38 this year, and his best hope is probably that RB David Johnson becomes the offensive engine with the passing game taking a back seat.”
USA TODAY Sports has the New England Patriots as No. 1 on its list.
Davis writes: “Go ahead — ding Tom Brady for his unspectacular arm strength, subpar athleticism or say he’s profited from unprecedented coaching continuity and brilliance. But does a tenable argument that he’s not the best in the business right now — and forevermore — honestly remain? Don’t kid yourself. And after he played meaningful snaps effectively in 2016, Jimmy Garoppolo’s presence makes any notion that another team has a better QB situation virtually indefensible.”
The worst quarterback unit ranking in the NFL?
That belongs to the New York Jets, according to USA TODAY Sports. They are No. 32 on their list.
To see all how USA TODAY Sports ranked all 32 QB units in the NFL, click here.
PRESEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS: Cardinals have work to do
More QB rankings for Cardinals:
The Cardinals have the 27th best QB situation in the NFL, according to rotoworld.com’s Patrick Daugherty.
Daugherty writes: “An injury risk in irreversible decline, Carson Palmer is a ticking time bomb under center. Behind him are mega-bust Blaine Gabbert and journeyman Drew Stanton. Stanton was not up to the challenge when Palmer missed 10 games with injury in 2014. Few teams in football were in more dire need of adding a young quarterback this offseason, but the Cardinals passed. They’re using duct tape and glue to keep Palmer together for his age-37 campaign, going as far as to eliminate his spring throws. Palmer is fully aware the end is near, taking two months to decide his 2017 status. To Palmer’s credit, he stabilized last season after a dreadful start. There are just too many warning signs for the Cardinals to feel comfortable. Palmer is no longer year to year, he’s game to game. Finding his successor is all coach Bruce Arians and GM Steve Keim should be thinking about between now and next spring.”
NFL RECORD PROJECTIONS: Cardinals bounce back in 2017?
ESPN’s Dan Graziano has the Cardinals ranked No. 14 in his QB Confidence Index.
Graziano writes: “When your performance declines in your age-36 season, that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Carson Palmer’s completion percentage last season was his lowest since 2011, when he was a Raider. (Remember Palmer as a Raider?) His yards per attempt were his lowest since 2010, when he was a Bengal. (Remember Palmer as a Bengal?) Touchdowns down, interceptions up, fumbles way up … it was alarming stuff all the way across the board for Palmer in 2016. If Palmer is healthy and throwing it the way he was in 2015, the Cardinals are as confident as anyone. But there isn’t a real solid feel to the quarterback situation in the desert right now.”
Yahoo Sports’ Zach Pareles has the Cardinals quarterbacks at No. 16.
Pareles writes: “After an incredible renaissance 2015 season, Palmer fell back to Earth in 2016, throwing nine fewer touchdowns and three more interceptions than in the previous season. He’s 37 and doesn’t have quite the arm he once did, but he still has the gunslinging mentality, talent and weapons around him to rebound. Behind him, Stanton remains as reliable as they come, and Gabbert, a cheap free agent acquisition, has starting experience as well.”
SI.com’s Eric Single ranks Stanton as the No. 11 backup quarterback in the NFL.
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