Arizona Cardinals: Will the Kliff, Kyler, Keim trio work?
Steve Keim must get playoff success fast and prove the Arizona Cardinals can be a consistent contender
Keim took over as the Arizona Cardinals general manager in 2013, and a year later, he was voted NFL Executive of the Year. But following a trip to the NFC Championship in 2015, Keim’s Cardinals have been turbulent at best.
Much of this has to do with poor drafting. Since 2015, Keim has swung and missed more often than he has hit in the NFL Draft. In 2016, he whiffed on Robert Nkemdiche, whose NFL career never took off.
In 2017, Keim had arguably his best draft with the Cardinals, having selected Haason Reddick and Budda Baker. Baker has turned into an All-Pro caliber player while Reddick morphed into a successful pass rusher, having logged 12.5 sacks during his final season in the desert.
Cardinal fans will forever remember the 2018 draft for Keim whiffing on Josh Rosen, who has bounced around with six NFL teams in less than five seasons. However, he did draft serviceable players in Christian Kirk and Chase Edmonds, both of which left in 2022 free agency.
2019 brought about three starters: Murray, Byron Murphy, and Zach Allen. Keim also drafted Jalen Thompson in the fifth round of the NFL Supplemental Draft. But the jury remains out on the 2020 and 2021 classes.
But as you can see, Keim’s questionable drafting since 2016 has given the Cardinals little to work with. As of 2022, Murray, Murphy, Allen, Thompson, Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins, Marco Wilson, and Budda Baker are the only draft picks since 2016 slated to start full-time in 2022.
Other picks, like Rondale Moore, Leki Fotu, and Rashard Lawrence, will also see time in the starting lineup. But they have yet to prove they can be long-term starters instead of role players at their respective positions.
In short, if Keim is hoping for this to work out, he needs picks like Fotu, Moore, and Lawrence to step up. He also needs to see more out of Collins, Simmons, and Wilson. Keim would also do well with seeing at least a few players from the 2022 class seize a few roles.