Cardinals Flight Plan pulls back curtain on Monti Ossenfort’s 1st-round dealings
Jun 9, 2023, 11:02 AM | Updated: 11:02 am
Flex on them, Monti Ossenfort.
Thursday’s episode of Cardinals Flight Plan was one filled with chaos and calls, with Arizona giving a behind-the-scenes look of the general manager’s wild first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
If you didn’t have time to catch your breath during the nearly six minutes of draft footage, now is your chance.
Names of general managers and draft picks combinations were tossed left and right throughout the war-room montage as Ossenfort worked his way through multiple deals and numerous phone calls.
The GM’s early persistence paid off with the successful execution of the first trade of the evening with the Houston Texans that returned the 12th and 33rd overall picks and a 2024 first- and third-rounder in exchange for the third and 105th overall picks.
Head coach Jonathan Gannon, who had a front row to the wheeling and dealing broke it down with just one word: “Wow.”
But with the team’s sights set on adding offensive lineman Paris Johnson and realizing he most likely wouldn’t fall to No. 12, Ossenfort’s job was far from over.
Knowing the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7 pick) and Atlanta Falcons (No. 8) could be in on Johnson, Ossenfort quickly went to work on getting back in the 5-7 pick range.
NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks weren’t budging at fifth overall.
The Detroit Lions at No. 6 and the Raiders at No. 7, though? Those were different stories.
“Talk to me about this Vegas deal,” he said to members of Arizona’s staff. “Is that an even deal? What deal do we like better, the Vegas deal or the Detroit deal?”
After working through all the pros and cons between the two trade packages, Ossenfort got Detroit GM Brad Holmes back on the line.
And following some compensation tweaking, the two sides ultimately came to an agreement, opening the door for Arizona to nab Johnson with the sixth overall pick in exchange for picks 12, 34 and 168.
Cheers and applause took over the war room as Ossenfort put the phone down, with Gannon throwing in an empathic “yeah!” for good measure.
“I’m not going to lie, it was exciting,” the GM told reporters after the first round concluded. “It was awesome and that was a lot of fun. … Some of the guys that I leaned on heavily, (assistant general manager) Dave Sears, (manager of football analytics & research) Charlie Adkins and (assistant director of player personnel) Rob Kissel did an unbelievable job of prepping us for the trade scenarios and even more so when it came time once we did the trade back.
“There were multiple spots that we thought we could jump and so those guys were working through trade scenarios and what one would mean and which one was better for us. Those guys did a phenomenal job and I couldn’t have done it without them.”