TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s known as “paralysis by analysis,” and it’s an easy thing to suffer from when it comes to the NFL Draft.
Pushing the event back a couple weeks doesn’t help, as it gives more time for overthinking.
“The first thing you have to do is quit looking at these mock drafts,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said. “Because they confuse you and get your mind scrambling for sure.”
There are quite a few mock drafts out there for your viewing pleasure.
Of course, the people who make the decisions create their own draft boards, and they’re not always in line with what the analysts or fans think
The Cardinals’ strategy is to take the best available player regardless of position, though that’s not to say need does not play a role in their pre-draft rankings. Still, it’s not easy to get a read on what a team might do, especially when one is picking as late as the Cardinals.
“If you Google ‘2014 mock draft’ there’s about 18 pages of ‘em, and of those 18 pages I don’t think we’ve had the same player picked in any of them twice,” Arians said. “It’s one person trying to outdo the other one, and so many times they’re all based on need.”
Every team has needs, of course, but Arians said it’s unrealistic to expect teams to reach for players just because they may need someone to fill a spot. For some teams that might happen, but nowadays more and more teams appear to have the same strategy as the Cardinals and aren’t likely to be slaves to their needs, perceived or otherwise. With that in mind, it can be really difficult to project what a team will do when on the clock.
“It makes for great banter and chatter and good bar talk,” Arians said of the mocks. “But there’s not much reality to it. But it’s fun to look at it.”
Arians said he reads all of the mocks, and even though those words came with a smile, it would not be a surprise if he actually did. There has been plenty of extra time to kill, after all.
And that underscores one of the pitfalls every team faces at this point of the season. Most teams probably have their draft boards set, with ideas of who they’d like to select and in what round they would like to get them. But that does not stop people from talking — spreading all kinds of rumors and misinformation — to try and make it tougher for their opponents to know what their plans are.
As it was in the X-Files, the truth is out there, though you should trust no one.
When asked how many quarterbacks in this draft the Cardinals would be willing to spend a first-round pick on, Arians said 10.
“The best smokescreen now is the truth,” he said. “No one believes you.”
“Anything you hear at this time of year is the farthest thing from the truth, except from us two,” he said with a smile.