Arizona Cardinals: An alternate 2018 draft scenario

The Arizona Cardinals received many positive reviews for their latest draft, but it could’ve went in a different direction

Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals has been riding a wave of positivity for the past three weeks. The club’s general manager has received accolades for a job well-done during last month’s NFL Draft. Keim’s Cardinals were in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, so the executive went out and got them the talented Josh Rosen.

Keim also garnered praise for a couple other selections as well, picks which earned Arizona some pretty high draft grades across the board. Even so, it’s sometimes fun to think about what might have been.

An opening-round trade that moved the Cards up five slots to the 10th-overall pick was what insured that Rosen would be coming to the desert. But if the organization would’ve remained at #15, Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander may have made sense. A number-two cover guy was an offseason priority, so the 5’11”, 190 pounder could’ve received consideration.

The second rounder, wide receiver Christian Kirk, was a nice addition who unfortunately was arrested a couple of months before the draft. Word has leaked that the Cardinals were aware of the rookie’s incredibly stupid behavior (throwing rocks at cars), but grabbed him anyway. Perhaps Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams, or even South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert, would’ve been more intelligent choices.

It’s tough to argue against the drafting of offensive lineman Mason Cole in the third round. The University of Michigan product started 51 consecutive games, showing his versatility by playing at both left tackle and center. A passer hasn’t been taken yet in this alternate scenario, so Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta may have been tempting to Arizona.

The selection of Chase Edmonds in the fourth round was a bit of a head-scratcher. It’s not that the Fordham University running back is devoid of talent, but starter David Johnson does tend to hog a load of touches. The Cards could’ve got great value at this juncture of the event by bringing Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst into the nest.

Keim had no fifth-rounder to work with since it was given to the Oakland Raiders in the trade-up that enabled the team to land Rosen. In the sixth round, Penn State cornerback Chris Campbell was brought on board. Washington State’s Luke Falk was still available at this point, so drafting him to compete with Lauletta for the future signal-caller assignment may not have been a bad idea.

Finally, the Cardinals doubled up at the offensive line position by adding the University of Cincinnati’s Korey Cunningham in the seventh round. Instead, the squad’s need for a wide receiver could’ve been addressed with SMU’s Trey Quinn. The pass-catcher deserved better than being tagged “Mr. Irrelevant”, a title given to the final pick of each draft.

It was fun playing “Monday Morning Quarterback” with Arizona’s draft class of ’18. But Keim and his cohorts did quite well with reality, especially by nabbing Rosen, their new “face of the franchise”. Most Cards’ fans wouldn’t have had it any other way.