With the 120th pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected quarterback Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech. Head coach Bruce Arians finally gets his big quarterback, and the Cardinals have to be happy that they are receiving a guy who can sit and learn for at least a year before needing to see the field.
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians and new Cardinals QB Logan Thomas on March 26 in Blacksburg, Va. pic.twitter.com/3iL38EHJFj— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 10, 2014
While at Virginia Tech, Thomas initially showed the promise of a future top selection. He has the size (6'6", 248 lbs), toughness and big arm that Arians loves out of his quarterbacks. But issues with his accuracy and decision-making started showing more and more as his college career progressed, and his draft stock clearly suffered as a result. In fact, it’s a possibility that if Arians didn’t take a flier on him, no other team would have.
Bill Polian: There is nothing I saw on tape that led me to believe Logan Thomas (Arizona) has a chance to be a very good QB.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) May 10, 2014
But Thomas flashed at times and has the ability to be a franchise-type quarterback. He needs a lot of polishing, however, which is why this pick makes sense for Arizona.
You get Logan Thomas working with Arians and the quarterback whisperer, Tom Moore, over a year and he might end up being pretty good.— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) May 10, 2014
Last week, Arians said he thought Thomas' was hampered at Va Tech by deteriorating talent around him.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) May 10, 2014
Quarterback Carson Palmer is a film junky and is as good mechanically as any signal-caller in the NFL. It will be beneficial for Thomas to stick by Palmer as much as possible in the film room and on the practice field in order to learn how to be a pro.
This pick is definitely risky, because deteriorating talent around him or not, a good quarterback can elevate a team and carry it at times. Rather than doing that, though, Thomas sank with the ship at Virginia Tech and became almost a laughing stock within the amateur scouting rankings.
What does this pick mean for the future of third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley? Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com asked that question in his immediate reaction piece on the Thomas pick and concluded that the high school tight-end-turned-quarterback would “probably not” beat out Lindley as a rookie.
If that’s the case, Thomas may be headed to the practice squad, where the Cardinals run the risk of losing him to another team—teams have the chance to cherry-pick players heading to the practice squad, because said player first must be released and then signed to a new contract.
It would be a risky move, but Lindley is not eligible for practice-squad designation because he has played in too many NFL games throughout his two-year career. Arians better be sure about Thomas before deciding to cut Lindley, because if Lindley somehow signs on with another team and becomes a solid starter while Thomas fizzles out after a failed attempt at starting, Arians and general manager Steve Keim could be in trouble.
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