Jun. 11, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) during mini camp at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Rankings: No. 23

Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page (nflspinzone.com/author/riship) for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 23.

#23. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer gets a new start this season in Arizona after spending two seasons in Oakland. The Cardinals are hoping that Palmer has enough left in the tank to turn the team into contenders for the first time since Kurt Warner retired. With the help of new head coach Bruce Arians, this can be possible.

Arizona has adequate components in the passing game to help Palmer succeed, such as Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. The running game has been a question over the last few years, but Palmer can compensate for more than he gets credit for. In fact, he was a 4,000 yard quarterback in 2012.

At 33, Palmer’s career is winding down toward its end. Hopefully for Cardinals fans, the new quarterback in Arizona can help the team get back to the contenders it was in 2008, when the team lost in the Super Bowl, and 2009, Warner’s last season. Bruce Arians and the Cardinals will do their best to make sure Palmer gets it done.

Physical traits and athleticism

The size that Palmer possesses is an asset of his game – he stands at 6-5, making the task of looking over his offensive line and pass rushers less difficult. Palmer does not normally scramble for extra yards; he doesn’t have good speed for the position, but is effective from the pocket, making the ability to run or not irrelevant. Grade: 6.5/10

Arm talent

I’ve seen Palmer make dozens of throws when he puts the ball right on the money and only where his receiver, and no defender, can get them. He has a very strong arm, and will look to stretch the ball downfield to Fitzgerald and Floyd. Palmer does become inaccurate with some throws when he forces them downfield, however, and has somewhat of an overconfidence in his arm. Despite that, his arm talent is also an asset. Grade: 7.5/10


Palmer’s mechanics are sound, although there are minor errors that he can fix. He throws well in the face of pressure – he sets his feet and tries not to force throws. His arm helps him with this, and sometimes he gets sloppy with his mechanics, but as many veterans do, Palmer should be able to fix this. Grade: 7/10

Mental make-up

Palmer is a seasoned veteran who’s seen a variety of things that defensive coordinators like to do on that side of the ball. He is capable of making adjustments at the line of scrimmage as well as adjusting after the ball is snapped. Last season, Palmer did not throw to his hot read even when being rushed by five or more defenders, and took a number of sacks because of that. Arizona’s offensive line was one of the worst in the league last year, so Palmer may need to throw quickly on a number of plays. Grade: 7/10


Palmer is a committed quarterback who possesses the necessary leadership qualities to be in charge of the huddle and take command of a team, as well as gain the respect of the coaching staff and fellow players. The situation in Cincinnati lowers the grade in this category, but Palmer seems to have already earned the trust and respect of players and coaches in Arizona. Grade: 6.5/10

Overall impression

Carson Palmer is approaching the end of his career – at age 33, he still has enough gas in the tank to re-prove himself as a contenting quarterback. If he adjusts and buys into Bruce Arians’ system, he, along with veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald, can turn the football team home to Glendale, AZ, can contend once again for the first time in over three years. Overall Grade: 34.5/50

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