The Cardinals are about a week away from the NFL Draft, and they’ll be preparing and putting their draft board together until they feel it’s where they want it to be.
This will be general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians’ first NFL Draft together and their first draft at their respective positions.
For Keim, the process leading up to this year’s draft doesn’t feel any different to him than the others he’s been through. For him, there’s other things surrounding the draft that feel different to him.
“I think being able to delegate has been an issue for me to try to come to grips with, because I was so involved with the drafts and prior seasons,” Keim said. “I still am very involved, but at the same time there are other distractions that pull me away.”
Distractions or not, Keim knows how important the NFL Draft is to the success of the Arizona Cardinals.
“This is what the lifeblood of our organization is, the NFL Draft,” Keim said.
For Arians, things are quite a bit different for him in this pre-Draft time.
“For me, five days I’m evaluating special teams guys and defensive players, where I used to be talking offense and meeting on offense,” Arians said. “It’s different for me, the volume of players [and] sitting through all the meetings.”
“It’s been a grind on me,” Arians said.
The evaluation for the Cardinals and their scouts began last June. The staff have been on the road doing player evaluations since then – Keim said his staff have accumulated over 3,100 reports on various players since then.
“That goes to show you that we’ve done our due diligence and [we] have been very productive moving forward,” Keim said. “Our board is shaping up very good for us.”
Things haven’t changed much for the Cardinals in the way they go about evaluating players. Keim says pretty much the biggest change in this whole process is the addition of more scouting personnel. Other than that, everything’s status quo.
“From a philosophy standpoint, we really haven’t changed much,” Keim said. “Bruce adding a few more coaches to the coaching staff in comparison to what we had in previous seasons has also helped us in the evaluation process.”