We've spent a ridiculous amount of time hyper focused on the NFL Draft, more than usual, over the last month because its legitimately the only sporting event that matters going on as planned.
its either talk about the NFL Draft or tell you another story from quarantine about my kids doing weird things. So NFL Draft it is.
Yesterday I announced my official endorsement for the Cardinals pick at #8.
As long as the Cardinals go offensive line at #8, it will be the right decision.
But could the Cardinals, should the Cardinals actively seek to trade down? Without a second round pick, the Cardinals could look to recoup a 2nd or 3rd and continue to fill out their roster around Kyler Murray with affordable, young talent.
If Tua slips to #8, Steve Keim's phone will be ringing off the hook. If a team wants the pick of the WR litter, they'll dial up the Keim household. If a team, such as the Falcons, falls in love with Javon Kinlaw, they might want to get up to #8. Or if a big name falls like Isaiah Simmons or Derrick Brown, instead of snagging that player, the Cardinals could auction it off to the highest bidder.
Most years, this course of action would make a ton of sense.
But not this year, for a couple of reasons. In fact, in a few moments, Ill tell you the only acceptable scenario for a Cardinals trade down, otherwise they should resist all offers and stick and pick.
Timing is everything in life. The Cardinals have a massive need at RT. They have a franchise QB and a strong group of skill position players. They also have a top ten pick in a draft that has three blue chip tackle talents. That doesn't always happen. Its one of the hardest positions to find in free agency or the draft and the Cardinals are in a prime spot to grab a great one at #8. They shouldn't overthink it.
Another reason is most years conventional wisdom says snag as many picks as you can and give yourself more chances at finding cheap, productive talent. In a salary cap league, adding multiple mid round picks can mean the difference between a championship run and maxing out at 9-7.
But this year, the NFL is unlikely to have any in person contact until training camp at the earliest. The acclimation process for all rookies is going to be a major challenge. Asking newly minted millionaires to stay at home and do their homework unsupervised is going to be tough. Plus, coaches can't get their own eyes and hands on rookies to really begin the molding process. Veteran stars won't be able to lead by example. A smaller draft class may actually mean a better chance of success, just by cutting down on the number of players starting from scratch in August.
But there is one scenario where the Cardinals should trade down, no questions asked.
If a team calls up offering their first and a future first, Steve Keim has to say "yes".
Its a steep price and its not that uncommon. Most recently In 2018, the Saints traded a future first to the Packers to move up 13 spots and draft Marcus Davenport.
Its the holy grail of draft day trades. Stockpiling first round picks is a fool proof way to make your franchise better.
It should be the cost of doing business at #8 and if teams don't want to pay it, things should work out perfectly anyway for the Cardinals.