Michael Bidwill lauds Kliff Kingsbury’s house, Cardinals’ NFL Draft

Apr 27, 2020, 10:20 AM | Updated: 6:58 pm
Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill visits Doug & Wolf on Feb. 12, 2019. (Arizona Sports/Ma...
Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill visits Doug & Wolf on Feb. 12, 2019. (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)
(Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)

Arizona Cardinals president and chairman Michael Bidwill couldn’t be much happier with how his staff navigated the 2020 NFL Draft remotely from their own homes.

From the outside looks of it, everything went smooth as can be.

Bidwill, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King, officially informed the NFL of Arizona’s picks.

General manager Steve Keim stood pat, an oddity for him considering his history of making draft-day trades. The Cardinals felt that several of their selections were easy decisions, starting with the drafting of Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons at eighth overall.

“When you think about it, Isaiah Simmons was the best-case scenario for us,” Bidwill said. “I always think of those as sort of an outlier. When he fell to us, it was a no-brainer.

“Our third-round pick (Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones) was supposed to go in the first round and our second-round pick was a guy named DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona traded its 2020 second-round pick to acquire the receiver from Houston in March). When you look at it all, it was a huge, huge day for us and huge weekend for us. We got a lot better, no doubt.”

If Keim and Bidwill’s jobs weren’t easy enough, head coach Kliff Kingsbury sat at his fine Paradise Valley home and got more credit than either of them.

A photo of Kingsbury sitting in his swaggy home with a view of the backyard in the background was tweeted by the team Twitter account and went viral.

“He blew up and broke the internet there for a bit and surprised us all,” Bidwill said. “I thought it was fantastic. I know a lot of fans like seeing the coaches and GMs at home: some with their kids, Coach Belichick with his dog, Coach Kingsbury with an incredible view of Arizona with Camelback mountain in the background.”

The ratings set records. The 2020 draft averaged 8.4 million viewers from Thursday to Saturday, according to the NFL and Nielsen, blowing past a 6.2 million average a year prior.

Now it’s a matter if coronavirus restrictions will allow for that ratings momentum to carry into a real football season.

Amid stay-at-home orders, the Cardinals held a Zoom video conference of around 90 players and staff on Monday morning as the offseason installations officially got underway remotely, Bidwill said.

A return to any normalcy remains up in the air, but teams are currently preparing to have a 2020 season on schedule.

“Certainly something we’re planning for,” Bidwill said. “I know a month ago, the commissioner said, ‘Hey, I want to press forward with the draft.’ For some people, including football people with different teams, who said, ‘Hey, this isn’t the right time, let’s delay it,’ he was right to keep it on track.

“I know that in my conversations with him, there’s a lot that he wants to lead here, he wants to do things safely. We’re certainly planning for a full season with fans, but obviously we’ll make adjustments as we go as we determine what’s the best thing. I’m looking forward to hearing more about it from the league. And obviously we’ve got stay-at-home orders … We’re going to see the guidance the league gives us in terms of being able to get back in our training facilities.”

Clemson's Isaiah Simmons reacts after stopping Alabama's Najee Harris during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2020, file photo, North offensive tackle Josh Jones of Houston (70) plays during the second half of the Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala. Jones was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the NFL football draft Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Fourth round (114th overall)

Utah DT Leki Fotu
(Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Fourth round (131st overall)

LSU DL Rashard Lawrence
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Sixth round (202nd overall)
California ILB Evan Weaver
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin, left, avoids a tackle by Oregon State defensive back Jaydon Grant during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

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