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General manager Steve Keim explains draft process for Arizona Cardinals

He explains the draft board process


The Arizona Cardinals, led by general manager Steve Keim have said multiple times that their draft philosophy is to always select the "best player available" when they are handling the NFL Draft.

As a guest on Arizona Sports 98.7 with Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, he explained how the team builds its draft board.

"What we've done right now is we've ranked every position by grade and then what we'll do is we'll transition in about a week to our top 120 board, which is what we'll draft off of," Keim said. "Our philosophy has always been 'best player available' and it will stay that way, and that's how we'll draft.

"We'll rank players 1 to 120 according to how we would take them for the Arizona Cardinals.

That draft grade also includes character as a part of it and also schematic fit.

This makes the draft philosophy a little different. It is "best player available for the Cardinals."

It seems like a simple enough concept. The issue is that the phrase "best player available" gets thrown around a lot by fans. When a team drafts somebody that is questionable in the fans' eyes and that player goes on to be successful for another team, criticism arises.

The hard part is that fans don't know how a team's draft board looks. It could be dramatically different from another team.

Another hard part is this -- what if the Cardinals have their pick at number 20 and their draft board says a receiver is their guy? With Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Ted Ginn and even running back Andre Ellington playing a lot of receiver, combined with an offense that uses a tight end or multiple tight ends a lot, would that rookie receiver even find time on the field? How would he impact the team in 2014?

What if by following the team's draft board a safety never comes up? What if quarterback never comes up for several years?

Will fans trust Keim and company the way they do now? Or will that song change from best player available to best player the fans think that the team should draft?