Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, many had assumed the Cardinals’ top priority would be adding a quarterback to build for the future. But among their seven draft picks, none were quarterbacks.
General manager Steve Keim says the team hoped to add a pass-thrower, but the Cardinals were not willing to jeopardize the makeup of their team by reaching for a quarterback they didn’t really want. Three quarterbacks were already off the board by the time Keim picked with the 13th overall selection, but he feels confident about the prospects they did land.
“We did our due diligence on all three of those guys,” Keim told SiriusXM NFL radio on Tuesday, according to NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling. “But at the end of the day, Haason Reddick was our highest-graded player on the board. The one thing I’ve been adamant about since I’ve become general manager here is not forcing that pick.
“There’s no doubt that it’s a quarterback-driven league and you have to identify a young quarterback for our future. But at the same time, I think you can get in trouble by forcing that pick. And if your instinct and your gut doesn’t tell you this is the guy, it has a chance of setting you back three or four years.”
The Cardinals expect Palmer to be their starter next season and hope he can lead them on a playoff run, but at 37 years old, they’re realistic about this possibly being his last campaign. Keim admits the team is already looking toward next year’s draft.
“Looking at the future, you know you keep an eye on next year’s draft,” Keim said. “You have an idea of the four or five guys that certainly could help us. And then you also look into free agency, which there are going to be a few quarterbacks that are available…
“I think there will be a quarterback of the future out there for us to obtain but at the same time there is a present that we have to take care of and guys like Carson and Larry (Fitzgerald) definitely deserve the best.”
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