Despite posting a series of poor drafts, former general manager Steve Keim did hit home with a few picks. Here are the top five between 2018 and 2022.
The Arizona Cardinals struggled for the most part during the latter half of former general manager Steve Keim’s tenure. Keim whiffed on more picks than he hit ringers with, and you could write a book on all the prospects who found themselves out of the NFL in just a few short seasons, or in the case of top picks, struggling to stay in the league.
But Keim still found a few gems in the draft, or at least potential gems, as none of the players listed below are perennial Pro Bowlers yet. The upside? Three of them still have a chance to become cornerstones of a struggling Cardinals franchise.
Arizona Cardinals top five draft picks between 2018 and 2022
Zaven Collins, LB/2021
You have jacks of all trades and masters of one, and in the NFL, most players are only capable of mastering one position, or two tops. Following his second season, Zaven Collins looked as though he was well on his way to mastering inside linebacker, but now, it seems as though he will have an opportunity to master playing on the edge.
Who was the last inside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals to make a successful transition from the inside to the outside? Remember Haason Reddick? If Collins has a similar year in 2023 that Reddick enjoyed in 2020, watch out.
Isaiah Simmons, SB/2020
While Isaiah Simmons has yet to break out in his career, he’s still put together a pair of solid seasons that included plenty of breathtaking plays. It started in 2020 when his overtime interception set up a game-winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks. And in 2022, his forced fumble led to a defensive return touchdown courtesy of Byron Murphy to pull off an improbable win in Week 2.
So yeah, Simmons has definitely shown he more than belongs in the NFL. And if his production increases in Year 4, expect the Arizona Cardinals to ink him to an extension.