Hello, and welcome to the 2014 NFL draft. The Arizona Cardinals are in a prime position this offseason to get better with what picks they have, and this piece will feature their results, analysis of the results and a grade for each pick or trade.
It’s possible that the Cardinals have had the best offseason of all NFL teams to date, as they filled a huge need in signing left tackle Jared Veldheer and had cornerback Antonio Cromartie fall into their laps after the Jets released him.
You would be hard-pressed to pick out a “glaring” need on Arizona’s roster, so general manager Steve Keim can truly work off his big board and pick the best players available each time his team is on the clock. That is something Cardinals fans are not used to just yet, so it would not be a surprise if some of Keim’s picks seem confusing.
For example, the Cardinals are set along the defensive line this season and probably for the 2015 season. If the best player on Keim’s board is a defensive tackle like, say, Aaron Donald, when Arizona is on the clock, he very well may pull the trigger on the former Pittsburgh standout.
It goes the same way with a potential trade back. If on Keim’s board there are six or more players he would take when he is on the clock at 20 and a team asks about a trade so it can guarantee itself the player it covets, he might trade back if the asking team is no more than six picks back of the Cardinals. That way, Keim guarantees the team one of his top remaining players, while possessing an extra pick or two in later rounds.
That is a win-win scenario for all parties. The team trading up gets the guy it wants, and Arizona does too; plus, the Cardinals have the luxury of having extra picks in this very deep and talented draft.