TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals may be on the clock with the first pick in next week’s NFL draft, but with nine days left until the first round begins, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said a decision on whom Arizona will pick has not been made.
“We are not done with this process,” Keim said Tuesday during a pre-draft news conference. “There are a number of players in my opinion and our scouts’ opinions and our coaching staff’s opinion that warrant being the first overall selection.”
Why haven’t the Cardinals made up their mind yet?
Keim summed it up succinctly: “Because we have time.”
Keim said he wouldn’t talk about whether he’s received calls to trade the first pick or a specific player. However, later, Keim said “there’s definitely been some attention” from teams about the first pick. Whether he’ll trade the pick will come down to the compensation, Keim said.
“If it’s compensation you can’t pass up and it’s the next three drafts of some of these teams, you’d have to consider it,” Keim said.
And, Keim added, there have been trade conversations that have given him pause.
“There’s always,” he said. “I get excited. I like to do deals. At the same time, I like good players.”
For months, the projections have been that the Cardinals will draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who was recruited by Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury out of high school in Texas.
Keim said watching the speculation abound has been “fun” and “exciting.”
“When it comes to this press conference, you guys think this is misinformation,” Keim said. “We’re not the only ones spitting it out. There’s a lot of it going around.
“The fact that I don’t know what we’re doing but everybody else does, that’s concerning.”
When it comes to Murray, however, Keim said whoever drafts the Heisman Trophy winner will need to be careful about the possibility that Murray may spurn the NFL to play Major League Baseball. Murray was drafted in the first round last year by the Oakland Athletics but announced in February that he was going to focus on football.
When Keim was asked if he brought it up with Murray when they met, the GM said: “Maybe.”
With all the chatter linking the Cardinals to Murray, Kingsbury said Josh Rosen, who started 13 games last season, has been “phenomenal” through it.
“He couldn’t have been better, honestly,” Kingsbury said. “First one to show up, engaging, into it, very sharp, as everybody knows. Can’t say enough good things about my interactions with Josh so far.”