There was plenty to like about the way the Cardinals finished the 2017 season.
By capturing three of its final four games, the team scratched out a .500 record despite myriad injuries, and the Week 17 upset of the Seahawks allowed coach Bruce Arians to retire as the winningest coach in franchise history.
It wasn’t great news, though, for the draft order, as the strong finish moved the team down to the No. 15 pick in the first round.
There is a great deal of debate about which of the top four quarterbacks – Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield – deserves to be taken first, but most analysts believe both Darnold and Rosen will be gobbled up before the Cardinals’ selection.
In five years at the helm, General Manager Steve Keim has not moved up in the draft to select a quarterback, but without one currently on the roster, it seems like a more legitimate idea this April than ever before. Keim did make an aggressive play for safety Budda Baker last year, dealing a pair of fourth-round picks to the Bears to move up nine spots in the second round.
“Budda was a guy we had huge grades on, and as the numbers started to fall and I started to look at the board, it certainly made sense, in my opinion, to give up a fourth-round pick at the time to go up and get him,” Keim said. “Also knowing there was potential in the third round to drop back and get another fourth-round pick (in return). It all made sense for me, and at the end of the day, we all know that Budda is certainly a budding star, in my opinion.”
The price to…