Arizona Cardinals missed out on an outstanding young center back in 2021

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The former Arizona Cardinals regime made a huge mistake when they balked on drafting Creed Humphrey back in 2021.

Throughout his 10-year stint as the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals, Steve Keim squandered far too many draft choices. Time after time, the club's longtime executive missed out on flat-out studs. For that reason, and quite a few others, Keim was finally replaced by Cards owner Michael Bidwill back in January of this year.

One of Keim's most egregious mistakes occurred two years ago, during the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. With the 49th-overall selection, Arizona grabbed Rondale Moore, a tiny wide receiver out of Purdue University. Fourteen picks later, the Kansas City Chiefs took the prospect that Arizona should've walked away with in Round 2.

Creed Humphrey, a center out of the University of Oklahoma, would've been a sensational anchor for the offensive line of the Redbirds. In just his second professional campaign, Kyler Murray's former teammate made the first of what should be many Pro Bowl appearances. How did Keim and the Cardinals take a pass on a youngster like Humphrey who possessed such obvious potential?

A month before, Keim pulled off what looked like a fantastic trade when he pried a three-time Pro Bowler away from the Las Vegas Raiders. Rodney Hudson, another former second-round selection of the Chiefs, was brought in to be Arizona's starting center for the next several seasons. The 33-year-old played well when healthy, but age and an ailing knee ended his association with "Big Red" after just two campaigns.

Creed Humphrey could've been the Arizona Cardinals starting center for many years to come

Moore, in his two years with the Cards, has severely underachieved. The injury issues that plagued the 5 foot 7,180 pounder in college have followed him into the pros. Moore has played in just 22 out of a possible 34 matchups, and has reached the end zone just two times in a Cardinals uniform.

Humphrey, on the other hand, has been an ironman for the Kansas City offense. The 6 foot 4, 302 pounder has started in 34 consecutive games, and has performed like a well-established veteran. Humphrey has also taken every snap for the Chiefs during six postseason contests, and was an integral part of the team's 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

At the moment, Arizona is expected to roll with unheralded free agent Hjalte Froholdt as it's starting pivot in 2023. Moore is still around, but the expectations are low for the third-year wideout. The Cards would be sitting pretty if the former regime had only possessed the foresight to draft Humphrey instead.

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