Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim makes himself available to the media before the NFL draft every year, but Wednesday’s conference was wildly different.
On a Zoom video conference with multiple reporters, Keim opened up on the challenges of working remotely and was less forthcoming on potential prospects he wants at No. 8 overall in the draft next Thursday night. Here are our top 5 takeaways from the presser.
- DON’T OVERTHINK THE PICK. Keim admits he’s watched more film this year than he ever has in his career as general manager. The national, statewide and local social distancing guidelines have forced NFL teams to spend less time traveling to meet in person with players and more time getting to know them over the phone and online. As the popular saying goes: “The Film Don’t Lie!” Our takeaway: The Cardinals chance of whiffing on the 8th overall pick has drastically been reduced, which is a good thing.
- DEANDRE HOPKINS TRADE IS DONE. News broke shortly before the Zoom call that running back David Johnson passed his physical, which was the last remaining hurdle left to complete the blockbuster trade that was agreed to in mid-March. Keim said the trade will commence and he wishes Johnson well in Houston. Meanwhile, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins undoubtedly takes the Cardinals offense to an elite level next season.
- KYLER MURRAY WANTS MORE OFFENSE. The Cardinals franchise QB wants more weapons and protection around him. Keim said Murray has lobbied him to add more pieces at every position on the offensive side of the ball, and no one can blame him for that. However, the pick at No. 8 is not up to Murray and the Cardinals desperately need more help on defense. In 2019, the Cardinals defense ranked 32nd (dead last) overall in yards allowed per game and gave up 27.6 points per game, the 5th worst mark in the league.
- MEDIA LOVE FOR THE O-LINE. It’s not the sexiest pick, but it’s a position that is vital to a football team’s success. Most of the questions from reporters focused on the bumper crop of offensive tackles available in the draft. Keim said he liked 4 or 5 of them and specifically named Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton as players who brought unique skill sets to the position.
- WORKING FROM HOME MEANS WORKING WITH KIDS. Keim admits working from home on the pre-draft process has produced some unsolicited advice from his kids. He says they’ve come up with their own top 15 lists, they think they know more about the draft than he does and call him “trash.” Keim delivered a nice shout-out to the Cardinals IT department for setting him up with a scaled down version of his typical draft night war room. The Cards and their fans can only hope the technology holds up when its their turn to pick on Thursday, April 23.
Matt Johnson is the director of digital content at PHOENIX. He writes about local craft beer, sports and media.