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Process To Figure Out Top Pick In Early Stages For Steve Keim

GM says speculation is good for the league, but much work to be done

Cardinals GM Steve Keim said there's no way the team would know who they will pick first yet given that the pre-draft process is only in the early stages.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim said there's no way the team would know who they will pick first yet given that the pre-draft process is only in the early stages.

Steve Keim makes it clear that nothing yet is clear about the Cardinals' top pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

"I truly don't know who we are going to take," Keim said during an appearance on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station.

That isn't an indictment or endorsement of Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray or anyone. It's the reality of it being mid-February, before the Scouting combine or pro days or draft meetings with the scouting staff.

"We have not been through the process, to meet with our scouts and our coaches," Keim said. "I haven't met one college football player yet personally. That is a huge part of this process, to get to know the person, to understand what makes them tick, how passionate they are about the game, to see how they would fit in our culture.

"It's way too early to consider who is going to be our No. 1 pick. But (the talk) is fun for the league."

Keim did say that during the evaluation process, "I will look at every player like we have no one on our roster." That doesn't differ from other years as the Cardinals try to build out not only a draft board for that offseason but also an information base going forward for all players coming into the league.

As for the uptick in Murray-to-the-Cardinals speculation, Keim called all the attention "a lot of fun."

"I don't listen to a lot of radio or watch a lot of TV, but just the little I have, this (topic) is the constant message that I have seen," Keim said. "But it's great for all of us. It's good for the game, it goes to show the level of excitement there is for the National Football League, and in particular with this situation, the No. 1 pick. It's sort of like 'The Bachelor' or the '(Real) Housewives of Orange County.' This is real-life stuff."

The goal in the offseason, Keim reiterated, is to be aggressive, which is why the team signed recently-released Falcons in cornerback Robert Alford and linebacker Brooks Reed. But he said the Cardinals will look at every opportunity individually, not simply adding players just for the sake of adding players.

As far as what is at the top of the roster to-do list, Keim didn't hesitate in noting a pair of obvious holes on offense.

"I would say playmakers on offense," Keim said. "That and stability on the offensive line. It's really two things. You can block all day but if you can't create separation it doesn't matter, and vice versa – if you can't block, it doesn't matter how much separation you get.

"I guess in what comes first, chicken or the egg, you have to protect first. We have to get that offensive line fixed."

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