Oh, what a difference a year makes.
Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim has gone from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and back again.
For for, he’s basking in the glow of dumping David Johnson’s huge contract and sliding production for arguably the best wide receiver in the National Football League. Keim’s latest quest was checking off several boxes of “need areas” for the Cardinals in last week’s draft.
“Nobody in this year’s draft, it’s not even close,” NBCSports.com NFL columnist Peter King said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a Skype interview Monday morning. “Nobody got impact players on both sides of the ball. One impact player on offense and one impact player on defense, better than the Arizona Cardinals. [DeAndre] Hopkins is either one or three in the NFL still and Isaiah Simmons is one of the most interesting prospects to enter the league in years.”
King thinks Simmons is the new hybrid version of defensive players, ones making big impacts in the league. A defender whose skill-set is so versatile he could line up pretty much anywhere on the field, including down in the box.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 28, 2020
Many believe former Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was the first start playing secondary players closer to the line of scrimmage and one seems to excel more in that role than anyone.
“Tyrann Mathieu has become a professional at it,” King explained. “I think you’re going to see the exact same thing with Isaiah Simmons. I’d certainly use him all over the map if I were the Cardinals.”
Cards’ Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph said in a Zoom interview with the media Tuesday afternoon his scheme will use Simmons’ strengths on a game-by-game basis depending on the team and the offense they’re facing.
It’s been quite a two-month run for Keim who has positioned the Cardinals for a turnaround season in 2020.