Like most general managers, Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals has high hopes for his 2014 draft class.
Keim acknowledged Friday on the Doug and Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that he’s both excited with the players he drafted, but is also holding back until he seems them practice in pads.
“When you sit in my chair, you have to temper your enthusiasm a bit and wait until the pads come on because we all know that a lot of guys can look great running around in shorts and helmets, but when the lights come on and the big boy pads come on, things can quickly change,” Keim said.
One player that caught Keim’s eye was the team’s first-round pick, safety Deone Bucannon, who impressed him with his work ethic.
“Deone Bucannon is everything we thought he was as a worker, as a student of the game,” Keim said. “There were times where he was begging our coaches to meet him on Sunday night to study film.”
The Cardinals’ next pick, tight end Troy Niklas, broke his right hand at Cardinals minicamp, but is expected back for training camp. Niklas needs the reps more than most because he only played two seasons at the position at Notre Dame.
“Before the injury, he’s a guy that quickly picked up our offense,” Keim said. “He’s extremely intelligent, has all the physical tools, and we feel very strongly about him.”
Of all the rookies, wide receiver John Brown flashed the most potential during OTAs and the team’s minicamp. Keim said the third-round pick “has almost looked too good to be true.”