NFL writer: Cardinals GM Keim a big winner in 2013 NFL Draft

Apr 28, 2013, 2:20 AM | Updated: 2:40 pm

Instant reaction or not, Steve Keim will likely take any praise he can get for his first draft as the Arizona Cardinals general manager.

And lucky for Keim, NFL writer Will Brinson didn’t wait long to dish out the first form of flattery.

In his “2013 NFL Draft: Winners and Losers” column, Brinson wrote that Keim “killed it” throughout the three days by adding talent and depth at positions of need for the Cardinals.

Steve Keim: It ain’t easy being the Cardinals right now, with the Seahawks, Rams and 49ers all looking like potential division winners in the NFC West. But give credit where credit is due to the first-year GM in Arizona, because Keim did a superb job during his first full draft on the gig.

Jonathan Cooper is going to end up, when all is said and done, as one of the five best players in this draft. He’ll be a perennial Pro Bowl candidate and will immediately help the Cards’ offensive line. Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington are a very interesting pair of running backs to add to the stable and two guys that fit the new-age idea of what a running back should be. Alex Okafor looks like a steal in the third, and I’m a big fan of the LSU pair of Mathieu and Kevin Minter and what they’ll bring to the defense. It’s an uphill climb in a loaded division, but Keim and Bruce Arians made some serious strides for the Cardinals this offseason.

What was also rather impressive about the Cardinals’ draft was Keim’s ability to take quality leaders. While Tyrann Mathieu’s missteps at LSU are no secret at this point, all nine draft picks at one time or another were captains. Seven of the nine were also four-year players.

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