2014 NFL Draft: Steve Keim not necessarily to draft a QB every year

USA TODAY Sports

The GM clarifies something he said when he was hire.

When Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was hired, he said that he believed in a philosophy that former Packers general manager believed about quarterbacks -- you try and go get one every single year.

Many believed that Keim would try to draft one every single year. He didn't last year, but did bring in Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.

This year, many feel that the team needs to draft a quarterback because of Palmer's age.

Keim, who was a guest on Arizona Sports 98.7 the other day with Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, understands the need, but indicated they won't force a pick.

"Because of supply and demand at that position -- and it is the most important position on the field -- I would like to draft one every year, but that comes with an asterisk," Keim said. "The asterisk is we're not going to sacrifice a better football player for a positional need or trying to force a pick.

"If a quarterback is in fact the 20th-best player on our board and we're sitting there on the clock, we'll take a quarterback. But if a quarterback is graded with a 79 and we have a linebacker or an offensive tackle with an 84, we're not going to force the pick."

The way the Arizona Cardinals are currently constructed, this can work in a way. The team has a great defense and good skill players. With such a supporting cast, you can compete without having the seemingly requisite "franchise QB" leading the offense. It allows for a journeyman or a place setter at the position until the team has found their guy.

The issue with that is that if it waits too long, a team might never be able to draft a franchise guy. When other teams force QB picks early, QB-needy teams either have to mortgage everything to trade up in the draft or they end up with a QB prospect graded lower because the "best player available" was a guy at a position they don't need more help.

How long will it be before Keim drafts a QB? Arizona doesn't have a history of going after them early and hasn't had success with them, either.

What if Arizona goes another year without drafting one? What if it is three seasons and Drew Stanton becomes the starter because the "best player available" isn't a QB? How long will Cardinals fans be willing to wait?

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