Arizona Cardinals: Drafting like a winner

By Mike May
 Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Have you ever gone car shopping because you needed a new car? You go to the dealership, maybe you don’t have a lot of money to put down or perhaps there is an issue or two on your credit — we’ve all been there. Sure, you walk out of the dealership with a new car, but typically it was not the one you wanted, it was the best that your circumstances would allow you to get.

Now, picture yourself going to the dealership for the new car that you want. You walk in, you look around and you have all kinds of options, or perhaps you don’t like any of them and you can afford to wait because you do not need it at that moment, so you can wait for something you really want. It’s a different mentality and without trying to offend some of you who, like me, would fit more into the first paragraph, those that fall into the second seem to be more stable and financially successful. Where am I going with this?

Welcome to the Arizona Cardinals under Steve Keim. Last night the Cardinals had a number of options with the 20th overall pick in the NFL Draft. They certainly could have created quite buzz by drafting Johny Manziel or maybe even Darqueze Dennard. Instead, they were able to trade down, acquire another draft pick in what is widely considered to be the deepest draft in years and at the end of the night still ended up with Deone Bucannon, the player I believe they wanted. Today and tomorrow, the Cardinals will have the luxury of adding depth at key positions and possibly a young quarterback to groom.

The key word in that last sentence is luxury. In this year’s draft, the Cardinals certainly had an idea of what positions they wanted to fill where, but they did not have a glaring need nor did they feel pressured to go draft the “shiny object in the room” in Manziel. Instead of reaching, the Cardinals were able to add and still get the player they wanted.

When the pick was announced many Cards fans and many in the media were collectively scratching their heads. Of all the names we could’ve had that would have made a big splash here locally and maybe even nationally we picked a safety that many had as a second round pick. Not among those who felt that way was Steve Keim, who to this point has proven to have a good eye for talent — he clearly has the Cardinals moving in the right direction. The initial reaction was understandable given the history of this franchise fumbling away draft opportunities. By this morning however it appeared as though most of the fan base and local media had come to the same conclusion: that this owner, general manager and franchise as a whole is different. We don’t make the same mistakes we once did — that’s for those other franchises.

Winning franchises do not chase a name or a big splash. It’s something Cards fans might be reminding Buffalo Bills fans come January 2015.

Mike May is an opinion writer for Rant Sports covering the Arizona Cardinals. Follow on twitter or add on facebook.  

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