Cardinals will stick to board in 2nd round, but GM Steve Keim likes a CB

Apr 30, 2021, 11:57 AM
Asante Samuel Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles breaks up a pass against Chase Claypool #83 of...
Asante Samuel Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles breaks up a pass against Chase Claypool #83 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first quarter of the game at Notre Dame Stadium on November 10, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

There will be no reaching by Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim on Friday.

It’s a helpful reminder that the team doesn’t have draft picks to spare. Arizona traded away its third- and fourth-round selections to acquire starting center Rodney Hudson and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins over the past two years.

The Cardinals surely will think about acquiring more picks if possible. But if they stay with their only Day 2 pick at 49th overall, it will be made with discipline, even if the Cardinals, by need, still need cornerbacks, tight ends and running backs.

“We’ll trust our board. You have to trust the way they’re stacked … I mean, there are a couple corners that are up there who we like,” Keim told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Friday morning. “But we’re not going to pass up a guy who we think is a tremendous talent … to draft for need. You always get in trouble whenever you do that.”

That said, the Arizona general manager did not hide his strong evaluation of one of the top cornerbacks who remained on the board after the first round ended Thursday night.

“I love Asante Samuel (Jr.). A lot of people think he’s probably in the second round because he’s 5-(foot)-10, which they think automatically that’s probably a nickel or a slot corner, which diminishes their value … I don’t agree with that,” Keim said. “I think that he plays big, he can play outside, he can play inside.

“You can think back when we won a number of games here and the NFC West, we had a guy named Jerraud Powers playing corner who was 5-10. And there’s a number of players in the NFL who are 5-10 outside corners.”

The Cardinals had their defensive back coaches at Samuel’s Florida State pro day, where he helped his already strong draft stock. He measured 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds with a 4.45-second 40-yard dash time.

In nine games last season, Samuel recorded 30 tackles with six passes defensed and three interceptions. He allowed the lowest passer rating of any college cornerback who entered the draft, according to Pro Football Focus’ grades.

Samuel, though, might not last 16 picks into the second round.

Here’s a quick glance at other intriguing players who remain available:

Cornerback: Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr., Georgia’s Tyson Campbell, UCF’s Aaron Robinson

Wide receiver: Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore, Purdue’s Rondale Moore, LSU’s Terrace Marshall

Edge: Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari

Safety: TCU’s Trevon Moehrig

Tight end: Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth

Running back: North Carolina’s Javonte Williams and Michael Carter

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank leaves the field after an NFL football game between the Atlanta ...
Character Counts

Falcons owner Arthur Blank donates $200,000 to prevent school shootings

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank committed $100,000 to each of Sandy Hook Promise and Health Alliance for Violence Intervention.
11 hours ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Arizona Sports

Golden is Cardinals’ most underappreciated, says’s Frelund

NFL Network's Cynthia Frelund devised a list of every team's most underappreciated player and listed Markus Golden for the Arizona Cardinals.
11 hours ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
1 day ago
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after Arizona defeated the Chicag...
Wills Rice

ESPN’s Barnwell: Arizona Cardinals had one of NFL’s worst offseasons

ESPN's Bill Barnwell believes the Arizona Cardinals had the third-worst offseason out of the 32 teams in the NFL so far.
1 day ago
J.J. Watt #99 and Rashard Lawrence #90 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrate their 37-14 win against t...
Kellan Olson

Cardinals DL Rashard Lawrence focusing on availability in elevated role

Defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence has proven to be a reliable depth option in the middle for the Cardinals and now he will have more to do.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the first half of his...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ Spencer Whipple applauds Kliff Kingsbury’s open approach

Kliff Kingsbury's confidence in those around him on Arizona's offense has shown as the unit has continued to evolve over the years.
1 day ago
Cardinals will stick to board in 2nd round, but GM Steve Keim likes a CB