5 Late-Round Quarterbacks to Target on Draft Day

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Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Carson Palmer finished just 19th in the league in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) last year, and on a per drop back basis, he was even worse. His first year in Arizona wasn’t exactly a success, but there’s plenty of reason for optimism.

Among the 30 quarterbacks who dropped back to pass 300 or more times last year, Palmer’s Success Rate – the percentage of plays that contribute positively towards a player’s NEP – ranked eighth, sandwiched between Nick Foles and Ben Roethlisberger. Not bad.

Prior to the Cardinals’ Week 9 bye last year, Palmer had a -35.02 Passing NEP, which was better than only Josh Freeman, Geno Smith and Blaine Gabbert. Over the final eight games of the season, Palmer increased his Passing NEP to 25.80, a shift of 60.82. Had he performed that well over the first half of the season, Palmer’s total Passing NEP – a hypothetical 121.64 – would have ranked fourth-best in the NFL.

With two stud wide receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, an explosive running back in Andre Ellington and a pass-friendly head coach in Bruce Arians, Palmer could be in store for a nice season in Arizona.