CARDINALS CORNER

Florio: Teams happy Cardinals attended Kyler Murray statue unveiling over draft prep

Apr 24, 2023, 12:05 PM | Updated: 2:33 pm

There were quite a few smiling faces during quarterback Kyler Murray’s statue unveiling at Oklahoma this past weekend that included a contingent of Arizona Cardinals including general manager Monti Ossenfort and head coach Jonathan Gannon in attendance.

Apparently, the Cardinals’ brass weren’t the only NFL team’s front office personnel grinning because of the decision to travel to Norman.

After criticizing Ossenfort and Co. for heading to Oklahoma instead of using that time for continued NFL Draft prep, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio explained to Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta why heading to the statue reveal was at least viewed as anything but productive.

“Maybe it’s generational, maybe I’m just talking to the older guard, but some people I talked to were happy that this happened because it’s all one big competition,” Florio said. “And the people who were locked in all weekend long looking at fifth-round, sixth-round, seventh-round prospects and studying film … they just kind of smile and nod when they hear something like this because it’s all about the commitment you’re willing to put in.”

Really, it comes down to how you perceive the trip and understanding how the Cardinals are operating under Ossenfort.

Sure, allocating time away from a draft that kicks off this Thursday could put a new GM behind the eight-ball.

But a draft board isn’t built in a day — or month — for that matter. And it’s not like Ossenfort is in the early stages of constructing one.

Before Murray’s statue unveiling, Ossenfort was confident in where the franchise was at in its draft prep, explaining Arizona’s board was about 95% complete this past Friday. The next steps now focus on all the different scenarios that could come down the wire while also getting a better feel for the thinking around the league through mock drafts.

And from the sounds of it, the pairing of Ossenfort and head coach Jonathan Gannon are already in lockstep as they embark on their first draft in their respective roles.

With most all of the odds and ends seemingly covered, why not show your franchise quarterback some support?

After what we all saw transpire last season, whether it be Murray’s contract saga, former head coach Kliff Kingsbury getting shown the door or ex-general manager Steve Keim resigning from his post, building a strong relationship with the team’s franchise quarterback and showing some sense of stability are never bad ideas.

So no, it does not look like the Cardinals lost valuable time doing draft prep — they could have continued refining their big board and watching any last-minute video remotely in Oklahoma and to and from it. They likely don’t need to get into gear until the phone really starts ringing closer to the first round.

Yes, it was still a productive weekend in Norman for another reason.

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