For perspective, Steve Keim threw out the numbers: More than 5,000 college scouting reports, 303 colleges visited across the United State and Canada, and a total of 823 players with draft-worthy grades.
Perhaps it isn’t the breadth of the scouting for the Cardinals this year but the depth that will resonate.
“There is always some luck involved (in the draft),” the Cardinals’ general manager said. “But through preparation you can get a little luckier.”
Keim told the team’s scouts to “go deeper” into a potential player’s background this year. That meant
The Cardinals aren’t talking about the specific draft misses that pushed them in this direction, only that it came from self-evaluation. While Keim and coach Bruce Arians still believe the roster remains deep, it’s clear that this year’s draft class may be needed sooner than the last class or two.
The work on who they take, then, became that much more crucial.
“In all of our history, we’ve never collected more data than we have this year,” team president Michael Bidwill said.
It’s an effort to get to know the passion that might lie beneath, the part of the equation that is necessary but not measurable. Even a player who excels in college may be able to rely on talent to get the job done. That usually doesn’t translate in the NFL.
The Cardinals believe in
“Let’s not forget Anquan Boldin ran a (slow) 4.72 and there were many like him that just didn’t have the height, weight, speed you look for but again, no one had a bigger heart and more passion for the game,” Keim said.
It’s the kind of formula that has paid off recently with linebacker
“I think we do a good job of sorting through it and making sure we can condense it down,” Bidwill said. “Missing out on a piece of information, there’s more downside to that than collecting too much information that you may not necessarily have needed. I don’t think our group has gotten bogged down in too much detail.”