(Sports Network) - Arizona's draft prospects changed markedly earlier this month when the team acquired veteran quarterback Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders.
Palmer may be on the downside on his career and is certainly not the Pro Bowl player he once was in Cincinnati but he is a massive upgrade on the terrible triumvirate of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley which eventually cost Ken Whisenhunt his job in the desert.
Palmer may not be the long-term answer in Glendale but he's a nice stop-gap and one which enabled the Cards to look past reaching for a signal-caller with the seventh overall pick if they are really enamored with one.
New head coach Bruce Arians is known for developing young quarterbacks and will certainly get a developmental one at some point but rebuilding perhaps the worst offensive line in football trumps that as a priority, as does fixing a running game which is currently relying on the oft-injured Ryan Williams since Beanie Wells was released and LaRod Stephens-Howling remains a free agent.
The defense is pretty solid although the team needs to get younger on the defensive line and wants depth in the defensive backfield even after signing free agent safety Yeremiah Bell from the Jets and cornerback Antoine Cason from San Diego.
Almost every mock draft has the Cards going offensive line with the seventh overall pick but it's unlikely the two top tackles, Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, will be there. If Arizona believes in Oklahoma LT Lane Johnson, he could be the selection or the Cards could look inside an guard and Alabama stud Chance Warmack.
Arizona is also reportedly very interested in strong-armed North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon, who would be a great fit in Arians' vertical offense, in the second round.
2012 Record: 5-11
Top Needs: OL, S, QB, RB
First Three Picks: No. 7, No. 38, No. 69
Number of Selections: 7 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame); 2011 - Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU); 2010 - Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee); 2009 - Chris "Beanie" Wells (RB, Ohio State); 2008 - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB, Tennessee State); 2007 - Levi Brown (OT, Penn State); 2006 - Matt Leinart (QB, USC); 2005 - Antrel Rolle (CB, Miami- Florida); 2004 - Larry Fitzgerald (WR, Pittsburgh), 2003 - Bryant Johnson (WR, Penn State), Calvin Pace (DE, Wake Forest).