Monti Ossenfort pleased with haul from 1st NFL Draft as Cardinals’ GM
Apr 29, 2023, 6:18 PM
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
TEMPE — Nine draft picks, four trades, future draft capital and a whole lot of chaos.
For Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort, the first NFL Draft in his new role was everything and more.
“This has been an unbelievable three days for me personally just to be a part of this team and this group of individuals in that room,” Ossenfort said following the draft. “It was great, it was exciting, it was intense. Can’t wait to get the guys on the field and have it be rewarding.
“For our first draft class as a group, I think this group will always hold a special place for me certainly,” the GM added. “There were some cool moments. Happy to be a part of them.”
Now, that’s not to say there wasn’t a hitch thrown in there in the form of a tampering settlement that saw the Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles swap third-round picks. Arizona also returned a 2024 fifth-rounder from Philadelphia.
But besides that, it was an impression first showing from Ossenfort and the new regime.
And on top of his draft haul, Ossenfort also learned something new about assistant general manager Dave Sears.
“He’s got a superstition that you can’t say the player’s name up on the board, he thinks that jinxes him.
“If we say Kei’Trel Clark’s name, he thinks that’s going to get him to go before we take him.”
But with the NFL Draft now over, that doesn’t mean it’s time to fully kick back and relax. There are undrafted free agent signings still to make before it’s onto the nitty gritty of the offseason and the minicamps and OTAs that come with it.
There’s also another decision that must be made in terms of linebacker Isaiah Simmons and his fifth-year option.
The deadline to pick up the option is right around the corner on Tuesday and Ossenfort remains mum on the Cardinals’ thinking.
“We have a few more days on that and we’re going to work through that,” Ossenfort said. “We’re going to catch our breath here a little bit and then we’ll have a decision on that next week. But we’ll get to that.”
Arizona’s 2023 draft class:
– Ohio State OL Paris Johnson Jr. (No. 6)
– LSU DE/OLB BJ Ojulari (No. 41)
– Syracuse CB Garrett Williams (No. 72)
– Stanford WR Michael Wilson (No. 94)
– UCLA OL Jon Gaines II (No. 122)
– Houston QB Clayton Tune (No. 139)
– Auburn LB Owen Pappoe (No. 168)
– Louisville CB Kei’Trel Clark (No. 180)
– West Virginia DL Danta Stills (No. 213)