‘Tis The Season: Cards’ Brass Ready For Draft Chaos

This isn’t Steve Keim’s first late-April rodeo. The Arizona Cardinals’ General Manager gets it…just like his 31 colleagues in his same front office position around the National Football League.

“It’s that time of year,” Keim said in his opening statement to the assembled media Wednesday afternoon at the team’s headquarters in Tempe. “The mis-information is flowing and I don’t expect the next 20 minutes to be any different.”

It can be argued no event in the sports world draws more rumors, speculation and intrigue than the NFL Draft which will start April 26th in Arlington, Texas. Keim and first-year head coach Steve Wilks have been busy pouring over 5,000 reports compiled  Cards’ staff members and scouts.

There has been speculation Arizona would try to trade into possibly the Top 5 or higher to land a franchise quarterback in one of the deepest classes in said position in the last several years.

Keim says it’s much easier said than done.

“Number one, to trade up you have to find a partner,” he said. “Number two, what players on the board when that team is willing to trade. If it is a dynamic player at that position that is a game-changer, they’re not going to take anything short of the mortgage for the house, the car, everything. It’s an inexact science so at the end of the day you can throw the trade chart off your desk.”

He said draft day trades are a “sliding scale” depending on how many players you like if you are trying to move up and believes the best time to make a trade is not only on draft day but when the Cards are on the clock because they understand what’s immediately in front of them.

Wilks is a bit more guarded than most when dissecting this year’s quarterback crop.

Keim_Wilks“I think there are some good quarterbacks that are coming out this year across the board,” Wilks explained. “But in hindsight you don’t really know how they’re going to pan out. I think it’s a great class but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

One quarterback who has received high pre-draft grades is Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. The lightening rod of controversy was recently in town for a visit.

Keim and the Cardinals left impressed.

“It was good,” Keim said with a wry grin when asked how the meeting went and what he liked about the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner. “Competitiveness. Compassion.”

Could Baker be in the Cards so-to-speak?

Likely not at number 15 where Arizona is currently picking in the first round.

Moving up for the possibility of Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen or others will take work.

But it’s nothing Keim isn’t used to.

After all, ’tis the season.