The final say

Posted by Darren Urban on February 22, 2013 – 9:35 am

When the Cardinals get together for draft meetings, the scouts give their breakdown of the player, the coaches chime in on what they think, and eventually the group comes together to give the player a final grade on which to base the team’s top 120 board — the ranking by which the team will make its selections during the draft. When the Cards are on the clock, because of those meetings and discussions, there aren’t decisions that are needed to be made. The emotions are taken out of draft day.

But there is a final say if there needs to be a final say — and it will rest with general manager Steve Keim.

Prior to the draft “we’ve had the conversations and sometimes we agree to disagree,” Keim said. “But at the end of the day if there is a tough decision to be made with personnel, I will make those decisions, just like coach (Bruce Arians) is going to make his decision on third down what play to call. As long as we all stay in our lanes and we pay attention at the task at hand, that’s what is important.”


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18 Responses to “The final say”

  1. By Mike G on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–I think the Cards have a nice process in developing their draft board. Sounds like everyone has input and of course Keim has final say on a player. One thing I think the Card’s have to address in this draft is to get more physical along both sides of the ball. We must draft strong players along both the offensive and defensive lines. I thought last year both Seattle and SF were more physical then the Cards. They both built their lines through the draft in the last 2-3 years and the Cards must do the same. Darren–Do you think the Cards must get more physical as a team to match Seattle and SF????

  2. By Darren Urban on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Physical

    I know Keim wants to make the offensive line more physical for sure.

  3. By D on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Fisher at OT is as good as Jockel at LT. KC may take Jockel, then we all have to look at Phily who may be interested in a Left tackle in regards to Fisher. But, if Philly cuts Nnamdi and we know DRC is gone, they will need corners even more than Off lineman….

  4. By DON CHRISTENSEN on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply


  5. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Good, because (publicly, at least) he seems to have a far more realistic view of what our OL really looks like. Arians seems to see it through Andrew Luck’s eyes, which won’t his viewpoint when the reality of his new situation sets in.

  6. By erik on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    This draft will be very entertaining. The way I see it, they could have up to four different options come that first pick. Offensive line/QB is obviously our biggest need, but this group loves going with best player available. What if CB Dee Millner is there at #7? Or one of the “elite” pass rushers? I’m sure they’ll end up going with an offensive pick, but I would not at all be surprised if they went with someone who can rush the passer. No one talks about it, but I think it is a real possibility.

  7. By Scott H on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Just saw a story on about how Fitz is apparently trying help Jamarcus Russell out by being one of his WR’s during his pro-day workout at the combine. Nice of him, but…my god, please tell me this isn’t gonna lead to Russell being considered by the Cardinals.

  8. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply


    In fairness, we don’t know what this group loves to do in terms of their draft strategy, as we haven’t seen one from them yet. However, regardless of who’s in charge, a reach is the same by any other name so to your point, I agree it’s a realistic possibility to get a defensive player at #7, as there are some very good prospects at need positions for us.

    However, with as bad as our offensive personnel is overall, the ratings for a defensive player would have to be off the charts to go that direction, I’d think.

  9. By NYCardinals212 on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Darren ,

    It seems that the scouting / drafting process remains unchanged. As the 2012 Cardinals Director of Player Personnel, Steve Keim said, “I have to put the final grade (in regards to the draft class) . . . at the end of the day, I sometimes have to make the decision on what is best for the organization.”

    Keim recently stated that part of the agreement in taking the General Manager position was that he must remain intimately involved with the scouting process. The man that was previously in-charge of creating the pool of 120 top candidates is now also the man responsible for the final decision on draft day.

    Did Rod Graves retain the final veto power on draft day? If so, what, if anything, has changed in the scouting / drafting process? I am not being critical. We picked up some excellent players in the last 6 years, but any optimism for a better or different draft outcome seems unfounded, to me. Maybe that’s a good thing.

  10. By Darren Urban on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    NYCardinals —

    RE: Final say

    Honestly, I am not 100 percent sure how that worked. I assume so.

  11. By erik on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply


    Definitely right about the rating having to be off the charts. Also right about not knowing what this group likes. I guess I’m thinking more about Keim specifically cause I know he likes the BPA strategy. I have said before, I really like Warmack. A tackle would be nice, assuming they consider moving Levi to the inside.

  12. By Mike A on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply


    Actually, Keim has stated on several occasions that he drafts best player available, so we do know what their draft strategy is. The question is, who will they think is the best player available when #7 comes around? I think a pass rusher is absolutely a possibility, I just dont think any of them are better than Chance Warmack or Eric Fisher. My guess is one of those guys will be the pick.

  13. By Coach Kevin on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    The word is both top tackles will be gone before the Cardinals pick at #7. I believe the rumors are accurate. If so, do we choose a talented, but short (6’2″) guard in Warmack, or do we take Milliner and fill a need at corner, or do we try to trade out of #7 and get extra picks.

    I say we trade down if both top tackles are gone. If we could move down three spots, we could still grab the third rated tackle plus more picks making it a good value. Also, if we move down and get more picks we get more bodies at better value. If both top tackles are gone, I say try to trade out and move down for more picks.

  14. By ored on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    also read that with levi back our line is’nt in such bad shape-potter at lft.tackle,massie at rt.tackle,levi at rt.guard,the question is can they coach up colledge,or the washington kid,i think he’s right,we’re real close to a quality o-line with more depth.i for one would like the db spot across from patrick filled with bpa here,but if not it’s still an ideal situation for bpa,whether ,defense or offense,any of a qb,olb,db,o-lineman,or a multi-dimensional player able to fill different spots,each would make us stronger,and who knows what will transpire in the coming days and weeks.i’m sure some will be pleased,some disappointed,and all of us’s to the new regime,may they bring new life to the cards.

  15. By clssylssy on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry, but I would feel more secure to have the Head Coach making the “final say”although I do appreciate that issue being clarrified. With some franchises the Head Coach is “the guy” (in KC Clark Hunt has given Andy Reid total control) with input from supporting staff. Of course the owner is the guy who will be writing the check so is really the guy giving final say. Obviously BA was hired for his expertise and experience in building a winning team and knowing talent and it seems a waste to put this decision in the hands or a relative notive (comparatively speaking). As suspected, Graves was really responsible for the Cards last few seasons and not HC Whisenhunt who was only doing the best with the cards(no pun intended) he was dealt! Good Luck Cards…I hope Keim has the wisdom to use the sources around him.

  16. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    @Mike A,

    Granted, but in the past Keim wasn’t calling the shots so it would be expected that he would sing the party line. Of course, it all gets very muddled at some point, as part of the reason they were so vocal about BPA vs need dated back to missing out on AD, so as we’re all painfully aware, even they didn’t follow their own theory 100% of the time.

    Bottom line, I’m in full agreement with you and Erik about wanting some blue-chip OL talent. Jarvis Jones and Demontre Moore should merit some discussion, if available, but I can’t see that either would carry a higher grade than Warmack or Fisher, and any QB, short of Luck or RGIII (who obviously aren’t there) won’t be able to make do with the supporting cast we have. Football is still won and lost on the line of scrimmage, something this organization has ignored for way too long. Regardless of his take on BPA, it was very refreshing to hear Keim acknowledge our lack of physicality, because to listen to Arians tell it, we’re pretty good on the line. Even more of a relief to hear he’s the final say.

  17. By John Sutliff on Feb 23, 2013 | Reply

    The Cards MUST be more physical in the o-line!!! This will improve both the QB play as well as the running game. It will allow the defence, which is the strong point of this team, to be more rested because the offence will be able to eat up the clock by moving the chains by getting more 1st downs and all of this means they will score more points !! We are NOT dealing with rocket science here, OVERHAUL this awful o-line !!

  18. By Campbells on Feb 25, 2013 | Reply

    Fisher better be the logical choice. We really need to shore-up the O-line.
    We need versatile running backs. Guys need to be effective runners, and pass catchers. This is especially important, when you have marginal QB’s running the show.
    Keim wants a QB. Better not be at the expense of the entire team. He’s a year late to the QB party.

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