Keim: “Good chance” Nkemdiche plays Sunday

Posted by Darren Urban on August 22, 2016 – 8:16 am

The Cardinals had a bunch of players come back to practice this week, and — barring anything between then and Sunday’s third preseason game in Houston — General Manager Steve Keim said the team will be in pretty good health against the Texans.

During his appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7, Keim said that, after talking to head athletic trainer Tom Reed, the Cardinals may only have “one or two” players too injured to be available for the next game. Keim also said that rookie defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who has been out since suffering a high-ankle sprain during quarterback school work and hasn’t practice in camp, has a “good chance” to play against the Texans. Coach Bruce Arians said that Nkemdiche should be back at practice Wednesday.

Other news and thoughts from the Keim conversation:

Like Arians, Keim isn’t worried about the Cardinals or their preseason performances in terms of how they will do in the regular season. But “we need to pick up our level of urgency.” Keim said. “You can’t go out when the season starts and turn the switch on. … You can’t sleepwalk through the preseason. (Friday) was a great lesson for our players.”

— Keim told’s Peter King that it was a “chicken(expletive) call by me” not to take a chance on quarterback Russell Wilson in the 2012 draft, and that he “didn’t have the balls to take Russell Wilson.” Keim is constantly preaching the need to self-evaluate, and that certainly qualifies.

“He is a great learning lesson for all of us,” Keim told Arizona Sports.

— Aside from allowing a pressure on the first snap, Keim said he thought right tackle D.J. Humphries was better than his first game. Keim also liked how guard Evan Mathis played, and he likes the progress — although it’s slower — of rookie OLs Cole Toner and Evan Boehm.

— On the idea Arians would like the Cardinals to practice against another team a couple of times in next year’s training camp: “I love it,” Keim said. The Cardinals might try to visit one team for a week and host a team another week. A handful of NFL teams did that this year. Keim (and Arians) love the idea of going up against another team as a measuring stick and to break up the monotony of camp.

— Keim said potential trade talks, with the Chargers or any other team, are ongoing and usually don’t heat up until the end of the preseason.

— There is still a learning curve for rookie cornerback Brandon Williams, Keim said, but “quite frankly, I thought (his struggles) would be a little worse.” Keim is pleased with Williams’ progress thus far.

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37 Responses to “Keim: “Good chance” Nkemdiche plays Sunday”

  1. By joe holst on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    I am wondering if he(Keim) is regretting not taking Dak Prescott who looks terrific so far, They also passed Derek Carr for Deonne Bucannon who is fine but at some point they are going to have to draft a QB with a fairly high draft pick, 3rd roubd or higher. Overall they draft low the last 3 years and have been great, I wouldn’t trade Keim for anyone. I hope they can unload a D lineman or WR for a conditional pick for next year,

  2. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    @ joe hoist….matthew stafford is under contract for two more years. maybe he will want out of detroit. if we can afford him he would be a good choice to replace palmer.

  3. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    Learned his lesson about Russel Wilson??

    – I am watching Wilson’s clone (with 2 more inches in height) play in Dallas. The kid has all the same tools as Wilson and from what I am hearing, the same leadership skills and huddle presence.

    – Dak Prescott dropped to the 4th round because of his DUI. After taking Honey Badger, Keim claimed he learned to give people second chances (Nkemdichi pick is proof)

    So with all this learning, how did he let Prescott go??

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Prescott

    Maybe he didn’t like him as much as Wilson.

  5. By georgiebird on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    The offensive line has to start pushing people around. Until then it will be tough sledding.

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply


    Obviously he didn’t. But then again, Why? How do you draft a Logan (can’t even remember his name) and then not draft Prescott? What are you looking at?

    Missing on Wilson and drafting Fleming and Kelemente (guessing to move up in round 3 it would have taken a 3 and 5), how does one do that and keep a job?

    Well, I guess Graves, who ultimately was in charge, didn’t keep his job.

    Heck in round 4, Kirk Cousins was there. How do you keep missing?

    How did you like Jamel Fleming more than Josh Norman?

    How do you think Jon Cooper was better than Kyle Long? How do you think Minter was better than Jamie Collins? How do you take Bucannon over Derek Carr? Or Humphries over Laken Thomalson or Mitch Morris? Or for that matter the several CBs drafted after him.

    People praise Keim over the HB pick, which was a first round talent that PP vouched for and begged Keim to take, which was taken in round 3. John Brown fits the mode of Antonio Brown and TY Hilton, have to wonder how much of that pick was Arians.

    So forgive me, Why did he not like Prescott? What did he look at that said, I’ll overpay for Stanton and pass on Prescott?

    Where are Keim’s wins? A hiring of BA, a Trade for Palmer, A signing of Veldeer and Iupati, Resigning Fitz, signing C. Johnson a trade for Chandler Jones. 3 draft picks in HB, DJ and JB.

    Since this is election year, I’ll use this. If I was running against Keim for the office of GM, I would stay away from his hirings, his signings and trades, and keep pounding him on his draft record. A very questionable draft record.

  7. By Darren Urban on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Keim

    It’s clear you are not a fan. But the football side is in much better shape now than when he took over. Also, if you are being honest — or if you are looking to do so — you could pound pretty much every GM on their draft record. Couple years ago, it was Baltimore and then Seattle which could do no draft wrong. Or SF. Now? I can find lots and lots of examples of mistakes.

  8. By texascard on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    I enjoy your posts greatly and submit the following with much respect. The fact that a qb wasn’t drafted had nothing to do with perceived talent or need or best available. The draft team was handcuffed by palmers fragile confidence. Drafting a young qb may accelerate his bleeding ego after his horrible (Darren would not call it horrible) playoff performance last year. We as fans have been put in a precarious position of the entire team, season, and short future being balanced on a fragile ego which must be guarded even if it means possible pain. No risk it no biscuit on its highest level

  9. By mitchaz on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    What’s unusual and amazing about the Russell Wilson drafting is how quickly the Seahawks’ GM and HC were willing to make him “the guy.”

    Virtually any other team that had drafted him would have started grooming him as a #2 and then see if he could be a starter somewhere down the line. Had that been the case—and had he not been picked by a team that was fully committed to him from the get-go—he might have had as much difficulty getting starter consideration and playing time as Doug Flutie did.

    Even the Seahawks would have to admit they didn’t have the guts to draft him in the 1st or 2nd round.

    Russell Wilson to the Seahawks was the perfect storm—great defense, great running game and a GM and HC who are not afraid to roll the dice with you.

  10. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply


    you know I am always honest here. I usually go out on a limb and talk about players who we should and should not draft BEFORE the draft and then don’t change, sticking with my mistakes.

    I was not banging the table for Prescott either. But Keim is the professional, so the question remains, why did he not see his talent, leadership and poise? I don’t get it.

    Now Is the football side better? Of course. As I said, hiring BA, trading for Palmer, Signing Veldeer and Iupati, and all the others were solid moves.

    To say I am not a fan of Keim isn’t true either. I am not a fan of his drafts but you have to give his credit for his signings and trades. No doubt about it.

    I guess, if I am a professional, evaluating players full time, I don’t see how, lining up 2 guards say, Cooper and Long and you think Cooper would be better. What are you looking at?

    You know as an outsider, just looking at games, I was all against the cooper pick before hand, I also couldn’t understand how you could take Minter over Collins. It just made no sense to me as I was begging for the Collins pick.

    If you go back to 2012, Floyd turned out to be a good player. But how do you not trade up for a QB. Not having a QB on the roster worth anything, Tannehill trade up made more sense than anything else. The trade was there as the rams traded down. How do you pass on a first round QB when you have none? OK, you dont like Tannehill, so you become Chicken #$%^ and can’t take Wilson? Then, you pass on Cousins? This team played 4 QBs in 2012 because they had none all because of the horrible draft. Even Nick Foles would have been better in 2012.

    In 2014, you are in desperate need of a pass rusher and you pass on two potential guys in DLaw and Dee Ford to pick a safety who is poor in down the field coverage. Luckly, our D coach figured out he could play LB and it worked out, but the team lacked a pass rusher again.

    In 2015, it took a 1st and 4th rounder (2016) for the broncos to come up to get Shane Ray. The cards could have, as I was pointing out before the draft, moved up for the same deal and land Ray. Instead, we miss on a pass rusher and take a tackle who is battling not to be a bust.

    In 2016, how do you take a Dlineman (in a draft rich in dlineman) with a past when you have nothing at CB opposite PP.

    BPA?? Give me a break. These were need picks. We needed olineman, we needed a safety, we need a replacement for CC.

    These are not complicated moves. I am just a guy on a couch and can see them. That is my issue with Keim.

    As for Baltimore, Seattle and SF mistakes, sure they make mistakes. How does seattle take Paul Richardson at wr over Allen Roberson? What a horrible move. But they rebounded with Justin Britt who has started 32 games out of 32 possible games. Plus, players they drafted had no where to go. They won the superbowl and then returned the next year. It is hard to make a superbowl team as a lower draft pick. That 2014 draft netted a starter, 3 back ups and 3 guys on other teams

  11. By mitchaz on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    John The Draft Guy—

    Steve Keim will tell you himself he has made some mistakes, just as he is honest about not having the guts to take Wilson because he had no one to compare him to. But—every GM makes mistakes in the draft.

    This off-season Keim has been swinging for the fences. What did you think of the Chandler Jones trade?

    You said that you wanted SK to take CB Mackenzie Alexander in the 1st round. Are you aware of how much he turned off GMs and HCs during his interviews at the Combine?

    Keim had already tipped his hand before the draft by saying he wanted to add “length and speed” at CB. That’s not Alexander…at least the “length” part.

    I live in the Boston area and I heard and read that Bill Beliichick was all over CB Brandon Williams in the scouting process. Had Belichick not taken CB Cyrus Jones with his first pick in the draft (Rond 2), he very well could have taken Williams one pick before the Cardinals took him in Round 3.

    While the Brandon Williams pick may have been a surprise to the fans and draft pundits—it was no surprise to Belichick.

  12. By ChristianR on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply


    Re: Keim’s Drafting

    Hindsight is 20/20 my friend. I know a lot of these picks look bad now, but at the time most of these picks really did look good. Coop was looking like a great lineman (the best interior lineman in the draft) before he broke his leg. DLaw had character concerns and Dee Ford had huge questions marks before breaking out late in the season (and even that seemed to go unnoticed before the Senior Bowl). D-Buc looked like a safety in the mold of Kam Chancellor, but better at it. That was huge for a team that had a harder time wig TEs than making pressure. I think it will take more than one season to call Humphries anything close to a bust (as if no one struggles in their first couple seasons). And Norman… he would never be successful in the scheme the Cardinals run. As far as successful picks, the players who have shown enough to be a starter (or at least a contributor) on most teams, drafted since Keim took over, are:
    -Watford (personal opinion)

    Those aren’t even counting picks like Nelson and Williams, who haven’t played enough snaps but show plenty of promise. Now, I’m not saying all this because I think I’m smarter or anything. You have clearly shown that you know more about this stuff than me, which is part of why I tend to just read, not comment. But really, Keim is probably one of the better GMs in the league when it comes to the draft. Grill him on draft picks if you want, but I think he has shown us plenty

  13. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply


    I think Williams as a low number three isn’t a bad pick. The problem is, he isn’t ready. You need a vet till he is ready. A first round CB might be able to be ready today, maybe not. But I just think it is a stronger pick.

    As for Alexander, I like his film. Unfortunately, they dont let me interview the players. So I can’t judge that. That is an area where fans miss with players. Maybe Alexander has issues later, as there is something about his attitude I dont know.

    But with a veteran locker room and a secondary room with guys like PP, HB, Bethel, I think there is a better chance he gets straight here.

    Chandler Jones trade is a home run. I will say it again, Keim has done a great job in signings and trades. He did a great job bringing in BA. He does a great job bringing back ex-card players and making them feel part of the organization. He does a lot of things really well. He has been a good GM, as we are a contender.
    He just doesn’t draft well.

    As for longer, Alexander has longer arms, Williams more speed and a bit taller.
    On Williams;
    “He’s going to have a great workout at the combine and get overdrafted. Frankly, I was surprised he was even invited.” –­ NFC area scout

    Just one mans opinion. I hope Williams puts it together and becomes a solid CB. But I hope Mike Jenkins plays his butt off and becomes the starter.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 22, 2016 | Reply

    If you have some time, go back before the drafts and read what I wrote.Not hindsight.

    In 2013, I argued with several people. I wanted to trade down and take Vacarro. I did not want Cooper and said many times it was a mistake. Vacarro was taken before the pick we would have traded down to, so I would have taken the second best safety Eric Reed. In 2013, our safeties were easily beat by TEs.
    I never wanted Cooper and called it a horrible pick right when it happened. My draft gave us another 2nd rounder along with a safety.
    In round 2, I thought the best LB in the draft was Jamie Collins. i compared him to Dansby. He could rush the passer and put up double digit sacks but the Pats used him inside and he became a probowler.

    None of that was hindsight. Neither was the fact I thought Bucannon wasn’t a good pick. I remember arguing with Darren several times that the Adrian Wilson-Kam Chancellor type safety was a thing of past. More and more teams are looking for Antrel Rolle type safeties (guys who can cover, drop down on a slot, play center field) . Bucannon was moved to LB and Honey Badger became safety.

    I could go on but point is, none of the things I list is hindsight. I didn’t think the picks were good then or now. Especially Logan Thomas. Go back to the days before the draft, day of, and days following. I couldn’t understand the pick and called him a bust the day of the draft.

    Am I wrong ? sure, I loved Ponder coming out of college. He is a career back up. In 2012, I liked Mike Adams, who is a back up tackle. I wasn’t a fan of Russel Wilson because of his size. But I am a guy sitting at home. Professionals shouldn’t miss such obvious picks.

    Trust me, I don’t complain about hindsight. Otherwise, The cards 2012 draft might have been
    Chandler jones in round 1
    TY Hilton in round 3
    Malik Jackson in round 4
    Marvin Jones in round 5
    Trade up in round six for Alfred Morris (6th and 7th)
    Other 6th – Danny Trevathon

    The in 2013 Trade Darryl Washington for a first rounder (coming off a nine sack probowl year)
    Trade down and take Eric Reed and take C/G Travis Fredrick
    In round 2 take Jamie Collins and Honey Badger
    Round 3 – CB Logan Ryan
    Round 4, LT David Bakhatieri and Kenny Stills
    Round 5 – , Micah Hyde safety
    Round 6 – Andre Ellington

    Trade for Palmer, Sign Aqib Talib, Dansby,and John Abraham.

    Now that is hindsight…… and a 2013 superbowl.

  15. By mitchaz on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply


    Mackensie Alexander is playing backup nickel CB for the Vikings. For now they don’t think he’s a natural fit on the outside.

    It appeared Keim had more interest in Alexander’s teammate, free safety T.J. Green—length and speed—and the talk was that the Cardinals were going to move him to CB.

    Now—picking DT/DE Robert Nkemdiche over Green in the first round was a swing for the fences move. Players of Nkemdiche’s talent are rare.

    Based on how well Brandon Williams is competing in practice and improving in the pre-season games thus far, that NFC area scout who said he was surprised Williams was even invited to there Combine was clearly mistaken.

    Keim didn’t draft Williams in the 3rd round thinking he would step right in and start—but, at the time, Keim thought the intended starter Justin Bethel was going to be full-go for camp.

    Good to see you laud Keim for the Chandler Jones trade—but seeing as it involved giving up the 2nd round pick, it might be fair to include this transaction in Keim’s draft assessment. Same for the 6th rounder Keim gave up for acquiring Carson Palmer.

    Plus, let’s not forget that when Keim traded down in the first round in 2014 and took Deone Bucannon—it allowed him to pick John Brown with the extra pick in the 3rd round.

  16. By shane on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    this comment section is so sad … nothing but ignorance . But ill say this i belive i commented on this on here before the draft that the cards should take either dak Prescott or Jones . And trust me i really liked Dak but ill put it this way lol all this hype around him like hes the next coming of joe montana after 2 preason games is
    absolutely laughable . This is not he first time a Qb in the preseason looks like the real deal only for them to fall flat on there face in the regular season when the pressures on & the games count and the intensity is on a another level with game plans and blitzs and every thing else. If any body watched that cowboy dolphin game last week they would have seen that that dolphin starting D was going half speed and had a vanilla D the whole game. I would wait for what he looks like in the regular season before i would crown him anything other than interesting and potential … and this is coming from a big Dak fan! people need to chill with all this hype this man is getting . BTW he should have thrown 2 picks that last preseason game but both got called back due too penalty’s by the dolphins .

  17. By Big Ken on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    Palmer starts. Stanton is a career backup and will retire as such. I understand the coaching staff being familiar with him. He’s the bandaid if Palmer goes down. As for Barkley and Coker, I don’t see either making the team. Wavier Wire? Who gets cut? Sean Manion?

  18. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    Big Ken,

    Completely agree. But at this rate, I don’t even know if Stanton is a band aid.

    Interesting you bring up Manion. Someone on this board loved the guy coming into the draft. Raved about him. I think it was Coach K.
    Manion has no chance with the rams after Goff was drafted. You are right, he could be released or traded for a late pick.
    I’m not sure he can develop into a starter though.

  19. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply


    If you go back weeks before the draft, TJ Green was another name I brought up. I compared him to Damarius Randall, a safety for ASU, who the packers drafted and turned him into a CB.
    I would have been more than happy with Green.

    As for Alexander, I have read from more than one scout that he is a natural fit in the slot. He has quick feet and can stick to a receiver. To me, if I am looking for a CB who is on the back end of a team that can rush the passer, I want that guy who can stick to a receiver in those first 15 yards. Someone who jumps routes and takes a few chances. I also like that centerfielder at safety sliding to his side to cover deep. Just seemed like a fit to me.

    BTW, Jason Verrett had the same thing said about him, that he wasn’t long enough and was going to be a slot corner. He made the probowl playing outside in his second year.

    But with all of Alexander’s hype and solid tape, he dropped to round 2 for a reason. Would love to know about his interviews to find out his issues. There is more to the story

    As for 2014 draft. If Keim didn’t waste his 3rd round pick on Kareem Martin, he wouldn’t have needed and extra one for John Brown. 🙂

    Nkemdichi plays well, my argument has no validity. If Williams can start and play well, I would be wrong. To be honest, I hope I am wrong.

    If you want one I was really wrong on, here it is. I thought Peterson would be a very good CB, but thought he would be a hall of fame safety. With his speed and size, he could take away the back end and allow CBs to press more. Could you imagine Peterson and Honey Badger as your two safeties? But after 4 or 5 probowls, he has shown he is pretty good at CB.

    Lets hope Williams and Nkemdichi have me singing Keim’s praises for a home run of a 2016 draft.

  20. By Kevin S Mesa on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    I always enjoy reading your posts. But let’s not get too carried away on Prescott.

    31 other NFL teams passed on him for most of 4 rounds. (Prescott would’ve been a 5th rounder if there weren’t a bunch of compensatory picks at the end of the 4th.) Seven QB’s were drafted ahead of him, so it’s not like Prescott was an obvious choice.

    If he turns out to be a capable starter someday, we won’t be the only ones kicking ourselves for not spending a pick on him.

  21. By mitchaz on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply


    If Peterson were a willing tackler…it would be fascinating to see what he could do as a FS. But, it’s a moot point. Pat P. plays in a tuxedo.

    Don’t get me wrong—he’s one of the top 5 cover CBs in the NFL—but he does as much as he can to avoid contact.

  22. By Dr. G. on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    jtdg – – Agree with Darren an some others; lots of homework will expose most GM’s hits & misses regularly…and 20-20 hind sight is always a good learning tool.

    I always say that drafting is a major crap-shoot. With 7 picks, if you get 1 or 2 that start and a couple for the practice squad, it is considered successful. The draft is an economical path to building the team, but more importantly, the deals are what completes the dire needs.

    One exception I think we agree upon is the need to UPGRADE THE QB every single year. If Palmer can’t perform for whatever reason, the Cards Mgmt//Staff will be hyperventilating.

    As for the draft and UDFAs, when we look at 90 right now, ((needed just to have camp bodies)), my estimation that there are probable 47-48 men who are a lock to make the final 53. That leaves 4 to 6 who will make the final 53. 10 more can make the PS…keeping in mind these 10 can be picked off and lost at any time by another team.

    For all the work you do, you deserve a salute for your detail. 👍👍 I still give the nod to Keim for juggling all the issues. WE STILL NEED TO LOOK TO THE QB every year…be well Cards Fans

  23. By Mikey C on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    I think everyone needs to calm down about Prescott at this point, and chill a bit on Keims draft classes.

    First, it has been two PRESEASON games! and everyone is freaking out about how great Prescott has looked. Yes he has looked good, but does anyone remember John Skelton lighting it up in a preseason game? I do. Even Errant (Derek) Anderson looked ok in a preseason game at some point. So lets wait until he gives us some regular season film before we start comparing him to Wilson.

    Second, I hope you remember the 98 draft. The NFL was split on which qb should go #1! Peyton or Leaf? They were both considered a homerun pick. As a GM, you can project all you want, but until they are in your building, you just don’t know. Keim may have only drafted a couple players that you might consider to be stars, but I feel he has done a nice job of trying to find guys that fit our schemes. Always remember, many guys are missed in the scouting process. Undrafted players: Tony Romo, John Randle, Rod Smith, Kurt Warner, Etc.

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa,


    It is not so much about Prescott.

    It is more about the fact teams have scouts watch games, then they break down film, they have workouts, interviews, combine, more private interviews, dinners, talk with coaches, teammates, everyone that knew him. And then after all that, you choose Jonathon Cooper with the 7th overall pick.

    How does that happen? Especially when you have all the same info on many other players. Think about this. In 2013 and 2014 combined, there were 14 offensive lineman drafted in the NFLs first round. 13 are starters for their teams. Only Cooper has not been a regular starter for his team. How do you make a pick that bad? What the heck did you see, especially when other guys picked have become probowlers? Uhhg.

    So, back to Prescott. Here is what is said about him on draft day.
    “There are physical, athletic, and leadership traits comparable to Tim Tebow, but Prescott is vastly more pro-ready as a passer. He’s an ideal backup as he continues to work on overall consistency, but he’ll bring a dynamic element if his name’s ever called”

    He recorded 38 MSU records and was named top scholar athlete. He is athletic, leading his team in rushing and passing for two years in a row. As a scholar athlete, he is obviously smart. Everywhere I have read, he is a true leader. He then gets a DUI and it drops him in the draft.

    His knock I have seen is he doesn’t go through his progressions well and gets nervous in the pocket. Things that can be improved as he sits behind a veteran QB.

    So, how do 31 teams through 4 rounds look at a guy with Donovan McNabb’s athletic ability and Tim Tebow leadership and pass on him? I just don’t get it.

    I think as fans we give these experts too much credit.

  25. By Darren Urban on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Cooper/Picks

    You are a smart guy and obviously have an eye for college guys. I will say one final thing on this, in terms of Cooper.

    The 2013 draft group was universally panned before it was drafted. Cooper turned out to be a bad pick. But it’s not like Fisher or Joeckel or Johnson or even Warmack have turned out excellent. And this is the point I really want to make — it’s not like Cooper went way higher than expected. He would have been a top 10 or 12 pick regardless. It’s not like Keim saw something no one else did.

  26. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 23, 2016 | Reply


    Agree with all you said.

    The thing I have trouble with is how can 32 teams of experts be so wrong? Like I said with all that goes into drafting a first rounder, how do they miss that bad?

    I get QBs, it could be the system. It could be his delivery is too slow or he doesn’t process fast enough. Or maybe he just gets gun shy playing behind a bad line (David Carr) or has no receivers or no run game.

    But a passrusher, a guard, a receiver, it just seems it can’t be that hard. Especially when you get to interview them and research them. I don’t get it.

  27. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Drafting

    That I can’t tell you. If anyone — and that includes Belichick, who has drafted his share of clunkers — had the answer, they’d be the best team perennially in the league.

    The only thing I can tell you is that there are so many variables, washouts are inevitable. The system impacts more than just QBs. Maybe the coach/assistant coach and player don’t click once he’s there. Maybe there are injuries. Maybe once a guy gets to the league, he’s not driven to work anymore. There are other factors. Plus, no matter what the work is on background/interviews, there will always be guys who slip through the cracks. It’s not just any one thing, although any one thing can derail a guy.

  28. By Scott H on Aug 24, 2016 | Reply

    Wow, some spirited debating going on here!

    Anyway, back to where this blog started…..Nkemdiche playing on Sunday is only one of several things I hope we will see in this game. I’d also like to see a little fire from the first team offense, some points on the board. I want to see some semblance of the offense that tore their opponents apart last year. I want to see execution that is crisp and in synch. I want to see better performance from the special teams both in terms of punt coverage and punt returns.

    I could go on, but since so little has been done well or efficiently so far in the first two games, I just want to see a total and complete 180 in this game – and I don’t think that is too much to ask for since this is the game that our starters will play for extended duration. If our offensive starters are going to be in for the entire first half, maybe some of the 3rd quarter as well, we CANNOT see a lot of punts, a couple of TO’s, and 6 points on the board.

    I want to see the offense come flying out of the gate and put 3 TD’s on the board before they put the baseball caps on for the night. That is not too much to ask if they are going to play for 3 quarters. And it doesn’t all have to come from Palmer and the passing game. One or two rushing TD’s would be fine with me!

    Wouldn’t mind seeing the D put a score on the board as well, or at least set one up with a big play.

  29. By Kevin S Mesa on Aug 24, 2016 | Reply

    In Cooper’s defense, he did look OK up to the point of the injury (albeit in limited preseason duty), and in fact broke his leg while attempting to block well downfield if I recall. I’ve never broken a bone in my body, much less a leg like that.

    I have no idea what we’d be saying about Cooper right now without that injury, but I think it’s a completely different story. He didn’t play for a year, then had another year where he (by his own admission) was tentative, and who knows… maybe that blew all his confidence and even in his third year when he said he was fine physically, he just couldn’t get over the hump.

    I will acknowledge that you called it a bad pick from the beginning, JTDG, and you turned out right — but it’s not clear to me we’d be having the same conversation without that injury.

  30. By Kevin S Mesa on Aug 24, 2016 | Reply

    The draft is not quite a crapshoot, but it’s not chess either where you should win nearly every time if you’re better than the other guy. I liken it to poker. You can play the hand right, with all the information available to you, and still lose on a given hand (which I’d say is comparable to a single draft pick), or even a given night (which we might equate to an entire draft). But if you are in fact a better poker player (or GM) than the people you play with, then overall, you should come out ahead.

    Also, I’m actually more amazed by the misses in the other direction than I am with the Cooper or other high picks that don’t pan out. How do guys like Priest Holmes, Wes Welker, Tony Romo, etc. go completely unnoticed and undrafted but then become Pro Bowlers? And then of course there’s Warner.

  31. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa,

    The draft should play out this way. (sorry, this is way too long)

    1st round-
    this is a 5 star player, (Patrick Peterson) who you have checked out on and off the field, in interviews, watched tape, talked to coaches, teammates and people who know him. You should know for certain he will fit in your system (not project him to your system). High ceiling , high floor. Worst case for PP, he would have been a safety and return man. You knew for certain he would contribute.

    Teams should not make mistakes when looking at the top 32 players in college ball. It is unacceptable to me that you can’t find one guy, out of the top 32 picks, that fits your system and is a good enough player that will come in and start for a team.

    Humphries was a mistake. He was not ready and too immature to be a first round pick. Taking him in round two would have made sense, not round one. No matter how he turns out, he should have dropped to round two.

    I will say, Now some years, at the end of round one, you might need to take a chance due to lack of unblemished players. Jason Verrett of the Chargers is way to little to be picked in round one, but he had round one talent and if a little bigger, top 10 talent. The chargers in 2014 were picking late that it made sense to take Verrett, who, at worst, would be a great slot CB. It turned out he went to the probowl. His ceiling was high and his floor was high.He was going to be a solid contributor.

    Round 2-
    As you go into round two, this player is a first round guy with a small flaw. Example would be Jamie Collins. The guy had all the tools and measurements, great speed, fit as a first rounder. But he wasn’t big enough to play DE in the NFL, so you have to project him to LB. You drop this player to round two because of that small flaw, even though, in everything you seen of him, you believe he can convert to LB easily.
    This is where Bucannon should have went. Not a number one guy. Huge flaws in down the field coverage for a safety.

    Round 3-
    This is a guy who has a little more questions (John Brown – David Johnson- Tyrann Matheu) Brown and Johnson didn’t play against high competition. Sure, they tore it up, but against who? TM had the drug issue. This is a good spot for these type players

    Exception – If a player has the total package and dominated at this level, you can move him up. More often than not, this is a mistake. There are exceptions. Before the boards were talking about an unknown OLB from Buffalo, I was begging the cards to take him in the 2014 draft with #20.(you can go back) Unfortunately, the raiders saw what I saw, and the draft boards and experts began moving him up. Kahlil Mack was my favorite guy because it was obvious he was the best player on the field in college. It made sense to move him up.

    Rounds 4-7
    When you get to the last day, it does become more of a gamble. Guys might be athletic, but don’t have experience or didn’t play in your system or there is a DUI issue. When people say the draft is a gamble, this is when you gamble. Round one should never be a gamble.

    Why teams make mistakes in my opinion, is they project a QB who played only in the spread to a guy who can run a pro style offense. You take a DE and turn him into a LB even when it is obvious he doesn’t do well moving backwards into coverage. But maybe he can get to the QB. Teams make mistakes with not asking the right questions.What motivates this player? who will he become if drafted? The other biggest mistake is need. I know there are issues but, I need a QB, Passrusher, CB.

    The best story I heard in the draft was, I don’t even know if this is true. The colts had to pick either Peyton Manning or Ryan Leif. Leif, I would argue, had more talent. But one question stood out to Bill Polian. If I drafted you number 1, what would you do right after that. Peyton – I will get on a plane and get to work. Leif- Wow, that would be amazing. I would celebrate with my family and friends and throw a big party.
    Rumor is (again I don’t know if it is true), this was the final reason they took Peyton.
    If the Chargers asked this question, either they blew off the answer as Leif being a kid, or didn’t see the red flag. I am certain other red flags were there and overlooked. I bet the coach in his HS or maybe college, hinted of him being spoiled. But man he was talented and many thought how could the chargers not move up and get him. Can’t overlook red flags in round one. I don’t believe they were surprised by the attitude and looking back, I bet those red flags became more obvious.

    As for Cooper, he had great feet and was one of the best pulling guards. But he also lacked strength and could be moved back. Red flag. Do you think players are stronger or weaker in the NFL? Keim and company should have seen his lack of sand in his pants as an issue, but he was so athletic, he probably could have become a huge fullback. So, you think, we can get him stronger and he will be fine. That is OK for a 2nd or 3rd rounder. One flaw. But not the 7th over all pick.

    Keim knows this and so does the scouts. That is why I found it hard to believe we made this mistake. Yes, everyone had him a top 15 pick I hear, but I wouldn’t be so sure. I couldn’t be the only one who saw this and got to believe other teams did too. If Cooper was a round 2 guy, that would have made sense. Sometimes it is better to let someone else take him and stick to your guns.

  32. By Darren Urban on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Draft

    Humphries, had the Cardinals not taken him at 24, would’ve been taken by the Panthers at 25. Just sayin’.

  33. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply


    Exactly my point. Because we were worried about someone else taking a player, we reached (IMO).
    A first rounder should at least dress out his first year. The fact he didn’t, tells me he was not ready, and therefore not a first rounder. This was discussed in the draft circles as he was labeled immature. (red flag).

    Lets face it, Laken Thomalson was a first rounder. Byron Jones, Damarious Randal, Stephone Anthony were all solid first round picks.

    So by reaching, We had to sign a guard, safety and CB, all of who were first round, NFL ready picks sitting behind our reach. Taking the best, most NFL ready player, we pass on Humphries and find a good player who could have help us.

    PS – I thought both Perriman and Dorsett were reaches even though they are expected to play big rolls in 2016.

  34. By Darren Urban on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Humphries

    The Cards weren’t worried he was going to be taken. They had been hoping for a pass rusher to drop. My point was that Humphries was drafted right where he was going to be drafted.

    They didn’t feel they were reaching. It was a pick for the future, knowing Massie would leave. Harold Goodwin has said he doesn’t feel any OL coming out of college right now are truly ready for the NFL. And it’s way, way easier to find a safety or a guard to sign than a potential long-term tackle.

  35. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply


    Yes they were interested in Bud Dupree. they were unable to trade up and had to look in a different direction.

    Interesting , that I wanted Shane Ray, who I believe we could have moved up and got, but regardless of how he turns out, that went against my believe (flagged for drugs) for first rounders and goes back to the reaching for need. (a huge need)

    It is easy to do. Lets say I was GM, and I took Ray and he was busted on drugs. Some smart ass would be saying on this board why did you take another DWash? Everyone knew he was on drugs.

    I think the hardest thing to do is stick with a board of best players. Both Myself and Keim abandoned that to get a need. (I say Keim, because I don’t believe Humphries was the 25th best player)

    But just going with the rules I laid out, Both Randall and Jones were changing from CB to safety, so the pick for best player available would have been Laken Thomalson or Stephone Anthony.

    A less than glamorous pick, Thomalson at guard should have been the pick. He was, imo, the best player on the board and the safest at that point. He played 16 games and started 14. It was the right pick.

    But I would have traded up one spot and taken Ray. Needing a tackle to take Massie’s spot, Keim grabbed Humphries.

    And thus, we both are examples of how GMs make mistakes in round one.

  36. By Darren Urban on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Examples

    Except in both cases, only one year out, no way to say either one of you “made” a mistake. Way too early.

  37. By Mikey C on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply


    Have you ever gone out with a girl and the first date was amazing, the second even better, and eventually they become your significant other. Then after 6 months maybe a year, you realize that they tricked you and they aren’t the person you thought they were so you break it off. That is what happens with these 1st round prospects that don’t pan out. GM’s and coaches meet with them, they say all the right things, they look amazing on film, etc, etc. The reason they are first round prospects is they have the talent, that is not in question. But they are Coached to say and do the right things in interviews with teams so they can maximize their draft slot. There are so many first round players that never pan out it would be a waste to try and list them all. It is very easy to criticize drafting from the couch, but not all drafts are 32 players deep with first round prospects and we don’t know everything about the mental make up of these players.

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