The yearly discussion about the NFL Draft among fans is about drafting players for need for the "best player available." Buzz words like "reach" and "forcing picks" become part of conversations.
Sometimes teams are forced to draft a particular player because of a clear need on the roster. Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said in Indianapolis in 2012 they didn't even have a tight end on the roster, so they went and drafted two -- one in the second round and one in the third round.
This year is not one of those years for the Cardinals, according to Arians and general manager Steve Keim.
The team took care of its holes and needs in free agency.
"I think Steve (Keim) has done such an amazing job in free agency that we can take this football team and go play right now," Arians told the media on Wednesday. ''There's not a dying need at any position so that we can take the best players available in this draft and not reach for need at all. So you're adding eight pick and probably 7-15 undrafted guys and you'll throw them in the mix."
Keim said because of the work they did with free agency, "we feel we can be a little picky right now about the type of players we draft and draft the player that has the most immediate impact for us."
Keim always talks about trusting the draft board so the long-term success of the team is not derailed. If this is true and the Cardinals are happy with their roster as currently constructed, then I guess we should be able to see how the picks play out on draft night. If their picks happen to fill a perceived need, then it must mean the team has highly graded him and he is not a "reach."
So if you believe the coach and GM, before you start saying "so and so is a reach" when the Cards make a pick, then either you are wrong or they aren't telling us the complete truth. But that really could be either case.