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By the Numbers: A Look at Keim-Era Drafting

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What can the numbers tell us about drafting under Steve Keim?

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Five years later, General Manager Steve Keim now has six drafts of 42 selections under his belt. While anyone who likes statistics would probably like a larger sample size, we’re going to take a dive with what we’re given in order to better define and anticipate this era of drafting. In the coming weeks before the 2019 Draft, I’ll dive deeper into thresholds that might make or break certain prospects, but today we’re going to go over some of the basics that make up Keim’s selections.

With nearly 60% of draft picks dedicated to offense, we can see that a mostly balanced approach has been taken with a slight skew to offense. This makes sense, given the state of the roster when Keim took charge. Many blue chips were already in place, such as Patrick Peterson, Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett and etc. While the opposite unit was sorely lacking.

What’s interesting is that one would assume this trend would balance out as the offense was shored up both with high priced free agents and draft capital being spent, with the exception of 2016, it did not, as you can see here.

It’s also noteworthy to see that despite leaning strongly towards skill players and investing in the trenches, both units are still sorely lacking in drafted talent outside of running back.

But wait you might say, perhaps the early picks have leaned too much on defense to boost the offense? Not so much, it’s been pretty balanced when distributed by round.

Next I took a look at where our draftees have hailed, and the pick distribution should be rather predictable to those of you who follow college football.

Things fall rather predictably by conference, but it is interesting to see that Keim isn’t afraid to dip into some of the lower ranks, which should be no surprise to anyone. I debated putting the follow chart in since it’s a little ugly, but if you’re hoping for a conference breakdown by round...

I got your back, of course.

Some miscellaneous notes:

  • In every draft Keim has double dipped on positions/ position groups. And sometimes for multiple groups. In 2013 it was Guard and Running Back. 2014 it was wide receiver and defensive line. In 2015 two EDGE defenders were taken. A pair of corners in ‘16, safeties in ‘17, and offensive line last year. With a deep class at OL and a big need, those of you who wanted multiple OL taken should keep your fingers crossed.
  • With the exception of 2016, trades have been made every year on draft day. These trades (both up and down) resulted in acquiring Kevin Minter, Earl Watford, Andre Ellington, Deone Bucannon, John Brown, Markus Golden, Rodney Gunter, Shaquille Riddick, Chad Williams, Dorian Johnson, Rudy Ford, and Josh Rosen.
  • On the other end, trade partners would acquire Manti Te’o, Ryan Nassib, Brandin Cooks, Maxx Williams, Vince Mayle, Randall Telfer, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Adam Shaheen, Daeshon Hall, Tarik Cohen, Jeremy Clark, Shalom Luani, Jylan Ware, Kolton Miller, Rasheem Green, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, and Dane Cruikshank would be acquired with Arizona’s original selections.