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Cardinals send four to watch Sam Darnold's pro day ... but why?

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Darnold shows off arm at pro day (0:55)

Potential No. 1 pick Sam Darnold puts on an impressive showing at his USC pro day despite the wet conditions. (0:55)

Sam Darnold is widely expected to be one of the top picks, if not the top pick, in next month’s NFL draft.

That means he almost certainly won’t be around when the Arizona Cardinals go on the clock at No. 15, where they’re currently slated to draft.

But Wednesday, general manager Steve Keim, coach Steve Wilks, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich were at Darnold's pro day in California, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

So, if it's incredibly unlikely Darnold will be on the board at No. 15, why were they there?

Perhaps the Cardinals are plotting a trade that would vault them into the top five, where they could pick Darnold and make him the franchise quarterback Arizona has never had. It's not out of the realm of possibility.

The Cardinals own seven draft picks this year; they could move a handful of those, as well as future selections, for a spot at which they'll be able to pick Darnold.

This year's top five currently is No. 1 Cleveland; No. 2 New York Giants; No. 3 New York Jets; No. 4 Cleveland; and No. 5 Denver. With the Broncos having signed their quarterback of the immediate future in Case Keenum, they could be a trading partner. But the Browns have those two picks in the top four and might be willing to flip positions if the price is right.

Even though the Cardinals signed Sam Bradford to a two-year contract worth up to $20 million per season, they’re still searching for a long-term answer at quarterback. Moving up for Darnold would give them that, and Cardinals brass was able to take a long look Wednesday at whether he’d be worth it.