Even picking that late, even knowing the variables involved for a particular player to remain on the board 22 picks into the draft, it’s difficult not to hone in on a certain possibility or two.
“I think through the combine, (when) you have those 30 visits, you do dinner with them, get to know their story, see how they kind of act in a social setting, you definitely build a relationship and hope that you can get them,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
Especially if that guy can potentially get you 12 sacks or 80 catches a season.
The Cardinals aren’t done in free agency – Keim has a history of signing players in May and again at the outset or the early stages of training camp. Need will be the top priority in those cases.
In the draft, specifically in the first round? Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux won’t be there, but maybe George Karlaftis could work as an edge rusher. At receiver, Chris Olave and Jameson Williams will likely be gone, but maybe Treylon Burks or Jahan Dotson works. Or maybe the Cardinals get Marco Wilson’s Florida teammate Kaiir Elam to team up at cornerback, or Zion Johnson as an offensive line piece for the future.
There are options, and again, need can be a very fluid thing when an NFL team is on the clock.
“To leave a guy on the board just because of his position or (your) positional need versus taking the best player, I think that’s going to put you in a tough spot,” Keim said.