The Arizona Cardinals currently serve as the NFL's version of Dr. Strange in Avengers: Infinity War. They're surveying all of the possible futures to determine which path is the best option for all involved.

When the Carolina Panthers' deal with the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick became official, the third overall selection became the initial inflection point for the 2023 NFL draft.

The Panthers and Texans are essentially locked into quarterback selections at the top of this year's draft. With two signal-callers off the board that quickly, other QB-needy squads will look at the third choice, realize the Cardinals are set with Kyler Murray behind center and see the Indianapolis Colts, who are desperate for a young franchise quarterback, own the fourth selection.

The Cardinals could trade down, especially with a new general manager, coaching staff, philosophies and systems being put into place. Multiple suitors should inquire about the price to move into the third slot.

Arizona could also take the best player available and add a premium talent to a subpar roster.

General manager Monti Ossenfort may not be the Sorcerer Supreme, but he must weigh a myriad of possibilities. The following are the most likely outcomes for this year's third overall draft pick based on either level of desperation by other teams or simply the most logical pathway for the Cardinals.


5. Lions Leapfrog Colts to Land Franchise QB

The Detroit Lions seem quite content with Jared Goff as their quarterback. Maybe they shouldn't be.

The Lions showed tremendous progress last season with the 28-year-old leading the way. They finished fourth overall in total offense, while the 2016 No. 1 overall pick threw for 4,438 yards and a 29-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

But general manager Brad Holmes must also face the realities of his team's current setup.

Goff has only two remaining years on his current deal, and his contract has a built-in escape hatch after this season. The Lions can save $26.7 million and would have only a $5 million dead cap hit if they release him next offseason, according to Spotrac.

No one views Goff as a top-shelf starting quarterback, He comfortably resides somewhere between 12-20 when ranking the league's signal-callers. The Los Angeles Rams traded for Matthew Stafford because head coach Sean McVay understood that Goff excels as a cog within the system but lacks the qualities to create and elevate.

The Lions may not be the most obvious candidate to trade up, but they should seriously consider it. They currently own the sixth and 18th overall draft picks. A move up three spots shouldn't warrant both first-round selections. But Detroit has flexibility with the extra pick to make a move for a quarterback that may need some time to develop and still address another need area.

Florida's Anthony Richardson is the most naturally gifted quarterback in this year's class, though he's also further behind on the development curve compared to Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Alabama's Bryce Young and Kentucky's Will Levis. A year of Richardson sitting behind Goff could help the Lions win in the short term and get even better at quarterback over the long haul.

The Seattle Seahawks should arguably consider making this same move, although they might be in position to select the QB4 with the fifth overall pick if they're patient and no other squad makes a move. Besides, Seattle is likely locked into Geno Smith's new contract for at least two years.