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Arizona Cardinals’ lack of investment in premium positions coming back to bite them

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

For many we know the Arizona Cardinals have not drafted well during the Steve Keim era.

One of the main reasons they have not drafted well is because they have repeated picks at premium positions too many times.

For instance, if we look at picks in the top 75 as premium picks here are the premium positions the Cardinals have used since Keim took over:

OL - 2013, 2015, 2020
CB - 2019
Edge - 2015
QB - 2018, 2019

It is odd because in turn they have invested:

Off Ball LB - 2013, 2014, 2017, 2020, 2021
WR - 2018, 2019, 2021
S - 2013, 2017
DT - 2016, 2019
TE - 2014

What you can take away. There is a lack of premium investment at premium positions. Edge player was Markus Golden, cornerback was Byron Murphy Jr. Along the offensive line, they took Jonathan Cooper (fun story about him was learned this weekend), D.J. Humphries, and Josh Jones.

Then of course you have two top ten picks on quarterbacks, which you can’t knock when you see they moved on correctly from Josh Rosen, but man is it tough to see they’ve invested in more QB’s early than corner or edge.

It is interesting because they have three wide receivers in those picks, and they all are drafted to do the same thing, play out of the slot. So, when people complain about investing in wide receivers too much, the reality is they haven’t through premium draft picks. They have chased the same player.

That is really the issue. Eight picks in the top 75 went to either inside linebacker or slot receiver. When you factor in the two quarterbacks, 10 top 75 picks on three positions is an issue.

It is one thing if you drafted Christian Kirk in ‘18 to play the slot, D.K. Metcalf to play the “Z” role like A.J. Green does, then came back and brought in Rondale Moore to replace Kirk because you decided with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins you can’t re-invest in Kirk. However, when you draft Kirk, then Andy Isabella, then Moore and you can’t even get them all on the field. Yuck.

I am not going to get into the ridiculous over investment at inside backer, because that is something that you can’t justify.

Offensive line, corner and edge are positions that are just inexcusable for the lack of investment.

You have five offensive linemen on the field at a time. You likely have three cornerbacks at a time, and two edge rushers. 10 players, and you have used only five premium picks. Yet you have used five on two off ball linebackers.

Fix what you prioritize and you’ll probably be okay.