One of the first things that Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim promised when he took over was that he would make the offensive line a priority.
He has done that, over and over and over again, and yet, in his sixth year making decisions, he has little to show for it.
The Arizona Cardinals cut Evan Boehm and Will Holden, two day three draft picks from the previous two drafts, who had just not worked out thus far, and in doing so, put up a number that is a bit jarring when you look at it:
From 2013 to 2017, Steve Keim drafted 7 offensive linemen.— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) September 2, 2018
Only 1 of those picks remains on the 2018 roster in D.J. Humphries.
The thing is, that the investment was always in terms of developing players, which is always a dicey proposition.
Yet, Keim has invested two first round picks in the offensive line. Yet, those misses along the offensive line have been key in the fact that he has needed to invest so much in the open market on offensive linemen.
He's paid double-digit millions to Veldheer, Iupati and now Pugh because of it.— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) September 2, 2018
And he's only spent 2 round 3 or higher picks on the position.
The question is if new OL coach Ray Brown will signal a changing of the guard there...and if Keim'll start investing in rds 1-3. https://t.co/NEdyub6czL
That’s the thing. When you draft for depth, or development, you have to get one or the other out of it.
Keim has not done that, and with these latest moves, he has nearly completely failed at this portion of team building.
That doesn’t mean he should stop trying.
In fact, it would make sense to continue to double down and invest in offensive linemen. In the same way though, maybe it is the lack of development that caused the issues.
With Ray Brown in tow, you can already see that creeping in. He wanted Korey Cunningham and now the Cardinals have brought in former Panther offensive lineman Blaine Clausell as well.
Those two things could mean that he is relying on a man who has shown true developmental ability, and instead of just leaving his decisions to himself, is seeking help to make sure he makes the best decisions.
Either way, the Cardinals have not drafted well along the offensive line, let’s see if that trend changes with a new coaching staff.