The NFL Draft is six days away. The Arizona Cardinals hold the number three pick along with seven others. No one (outside of the Cardinals) seems to know what the plan is.
This makes the first draft for new general manager Monti Ossenfort interesting. He and new head coach Jonathan Gannon spoke with the media for just under 30 minutes on Friday.
The #NFLDraft is less than a week away. Will be the 1st draft with the Cardinals for GM Monti Ossenfort & HC Jonathan Gannon. @Sports360AZ pic.twitter.com/Siq9UzM7ID
— Jordan Spurgeon (@spurge_) April 21, 2023
Ossenfort is holding his plan close to his chest, so not much was said during that press conference. However, one thing really stood out.
The general manager was asked about how important this draft was because it’s the start of a “rebuild.” After Ossenfort finished his answer along the typical general manager lines of “looking for good character guys,” Gannon stepped in to say he cringed at the word rebuild.
“Our sole focus is to win football games,” Gannon said during his response. “I didn’t like the word rebuild.”
Call it what you want, but this is a rebuilding franchise for at least 2023. That’s not a negative knock on the new staff in place at all. It’s their job to instill a winning culture as part of a “rebuild.” Gannon understands that, whether he wants to call it a rebuild or not.
Peter King joined Brad Cesmat yesterday to discuss the Cardinals. He had some interesting things to say.
“If you asked people around the league… they would say the Cardinals are among the worst rosters if not the worst roster in the NFL.”
That feeds into the question of what to do with the number three overall pick. The most common name thrown around is Will Anderson, the edge rusher out of Alabama. His tape is phenomenal. Would an elite edge rusher speed up the rebuild process?
However, the smarter move could be to trade down for more draft capital. The problem is the number three pick doesn’t seem to be too valuable at this point. Ossenfort says there’s been discussion with other teams, but nothing has progressed enough.
So far, the new Cardinals brass has shown a reluctance to trade anyone or anything for less than premium value (i.e. holding out with DeAndre Hopkins). That’s fine if all trades were supposed to create equal value. That just isn’t the case though, and rebuilding teams have to take less sometimes in order to give their vision room to grow.
If something crazy happens and quarterbacks Bryce Young and CJ Stroud don’t get drafted with the first two picks, the value of the third pick could sky rocket.
There will be plenty of thoughts thrown around over the next six days about what Arizona should do. It’s a new staff so nobody around the league knows what the plan is. That could be a good thing. Just let it all play out.