Peter King of The Monday Morning Quarterback unveiled his post-draft column on Sunday night and had a section discussing the best trade of the draft.
Unsurprisingly, the honor went to General Manager Steve Keim and the Cardinals for moving up to nab quarterback Josh Rosen.
Keim waited until No. 10 overall – the final spot ahead of possible Rosen suitor Miami – to pull the trigger on a deal with the Raiders. That patience alone saved millions of dollars in salary and plenty of draft capital, and Keim ended up trading a very reasonable collection of picks to move up five slots.
The Cardinals dealt their first-round selection (No. 15 overall) along with their third- and fifth-rounders for Rosen. Contrast that to the Bills, who traded the No. 12 overall pick and a pair of second-rounders to move up to No. 7 for Josh Allen.
“You never see a team move up five spots in the draft and snag a franchise quarterback by only giving up a third- and a fifth-round pick, but the Cardinals did just that,” said CBS Sports’ Will Brinson in his draft analysis. “Teams should be able to auction off picks when a guy like Josh Rosen is available, and the Cards snared the UCLA quarterback without surrendering any current or future first or second-round picks. It wasn't highway robbery but what a gambit for Arizona.”
In his pre-draft press conference, Keim talked about the tough balancing act of finding a quarterback without mortgaging the future. When an opportunity presented itself, he pounced.
“To be able to go from 15 to 10 and give up what we did, we were extremely comfortable with,” Keim said. “Coach (Steve Wilks), Michael (Bidwill) and I talked about it. Again, being able to still preserve our second round pick and not giving up future ones was extremely important to all of us.”
Rosen has to live up to his potential in order for this to be a true home run trade, but Keim couldn’t have played his hand much better.
“Keim was getting roundly destroyed for his offseason and hesitance on trading into the top five,” wrote Connor Orr of The MMQB. “As it turns out, he played the board perfectly.”