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Moving up in the draft, Sam’s crowd and Sutton’s weight

Posted by Darren Urban on February 22, 2014 – 2:50 pm

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim admits he could move up in the draft. But he certainly doesn’t sound like someone who plans on it.

“It all depends on whether you are in striking distance of a player you covet,” Keim said. “Anytime you are moving up you have to sacrifice what you give up for them. Sometimes if you are talking about moving up four or five spots, you are talking about a fourth or fifth round pick, (and) we covet all our picks.”

“If you had to ask me what my philosophy is, last year is a perfect example,” Keim added, referencing last year’s second-round trade down. “I’m in the business of trying to acquire picks rather than give them up.”

— Missouri defensive end (or possible 3-4 linebacker) Michael Sam — who came out publicly as gay a couple of weeks ago — came through the media room Saturday and had most heavily attended media session that I can ever remember, and there have been big ones over the years with Cam Newton, Tim Tebow and Manti Te’o. There was a big crowd for Johnny Manziel, but not like the one for Sam.

— Arizona State defensive lineman Will Sutton said his stamina was not as good as a senior as it had been as a junior, despite winning a second straight Pac-12 defensive player of the year award. Sutton played at 280 in 2012 and was more than 300 last year. Teams wanted to know why.

“They just ask me what led into the weight gain, and I just say I was just listening to too many outside sources,” Sutton said. “I was playing at a high level at 280. I shouldn’t have changed what I did, what I was good at. But everything happens for a reason. So I’m just getting back down to it (weight) now, really learning the ropes of nutrition, a little dieting, eating real healthy.”

Interestingly, Sutton said the ASU coaches weren’t the ones who wanted him to gain wait. Sutton said those “outside sources” were the media, from which he heard that he’d need to be heavier to make it in the NFL.

Will Sutton, Isaac Seumalo


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Keim addresses Michael Sam situation

Posted by Darren Urban on February 14, 2014 – 9:14 am

If you are an NFL or even a sports follower, you have had to be living under a rock not to know that Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, the co-defensive player of the year in the SEC, came out Sunday publicly as a gay man. It spawned countless articles/talk show conversations/tweets on the subject, what it meant, and how the NFL might accept Sam as he enters the NFL draft.

Sam, at 6-1 1/2 and 260 pounds, would project to an outside linebacker in the Cards’ system. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, during an appearance on the “Doug and Wolf Show” Friday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7, was asked how the Cardinals would interpret the Sam news when it came to evaluating him.

“Let me say this, and I want to make this clear,” Keim said. “Every player we evaluate for the upcoming draft, we judge them on their physical skill-set, we judge them on their football character, we judge them on their ability to learn the (playbook), and we judge them on their medical history. Race, religion, sexual orientation, those aspects are never even brought into the process. What I am concerned about is, ‘How talented is Michael Sam?’ That’s number one. Is he a good teammate? Is he good in the locker room? Is he smart? Is he competitive? And what does his medical history look like?

“If he is a good teammate, and he’s a good person, he’s going to be fine in your locker room. You teammates are going to accept him because of the person and player he is. Not those other things. We will look at Michael Sam no differently than any other player in this draft.”

Whether the Cardinals go after Sam is to be determined. I don’t know much about Sam the football player, but MMQB.com did a very good and extensive video breakdown of his season and made it sound like, as a player, he would be a project. The Cardinals, don’t forget, already have one of those at outside linebacker, after drafting Alex Okafor last season and then having Okafor lose most of his rookie season after an injury. They also are on the constant lookout for depth at that position. Forget Sam’s big announcement. The Cards need draft picks that can contribute — which goes to the point Keim was making.

Personally, I don’t see why Sam’s orientation would be an issue. It obviously hasn’t held him back up until this point. Why would that change now?

SamAPshotSIZED


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