Steve Keim goes down familiar road to improve the Cardinals

(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Marquise Brown
(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Marquise Brown /

General manager Steve Keim has squandered many draft picks, but the Arizona Cardinals have benefited greatly from his trades.

For the past couple of months, fans of the Arizona Cardinals have gone back and forth on which prospect the front office should select with their first-round pick. As it turned out, it was all just a waste of time.

When the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft arrived, Cards general manager Steve Keim elected to go with a method of roster-building that has worked quite well for him over the past nine years. Instead of selecting what would essentially be an unknown commodity at No. 23 overall, Keim decided that the club would be better off with a player who already has professional experience.

For those who believe that the first-round choice that Arizona gave up for wideout Marquise Brown was too much, take this into consideration. Is there anyone that Keim could’ve drafted at that point that would’ve been considered a surefire success?

With “Hollywood” Brown, the Cardinals are getting a wide receiver who tallied 91 receptions, 1,008 receiving yards, and six touchdowns for the Baltimore Ravens last fall. They’re also getting a speedster for the next two years at a “controlled cost” salary that is highly beneficial for the cap-strapped franchise.

Trades have worked out very well for Steve Keim and the Arizona Cardinals

Say what you will about Keim’s drafting skills, but the executive has done very well for the Redbirds with the various trades he has pulled off. In fact, some of the best individuals to ever wear a Cards uniform were acquired in deals orchestrated by Keim.

Who can forget the trade that brought the great Chandler Jones to the desert back in 2016. How about the fact that Keim was able to land quarterback Carson Palmer for next to nothing back in 2013, just three months after becoming Arizona’s GM?

It got even better in March of 2020 when Keim somehow managed to pry Pro Bowl pass-catcher DeAndre Hopkins away from the Houston Texans. Last year, the Cardinals pulled off sensational deals for center Rodney Hudson and tight end Zach Ertz, two key additions to the “Air Raid” offense.

It’s no secret that Keim has struggled to build the team through the draft. The opening-round failures have been particularly alarming. Arizona saw no reason to risk another botched pick, especially when they could walk away with a proven veteran like Brown instead.

Most would jump at the chance of getting a receiver like Brown with the 23rd-overall selection in round 1. Kudos to Keim and the Cards hierarchy for taking that leap on the first night of the ’22 draft.

Must Read. 5 best Cardinals draft selections of the 2010s. light