Keim: Cardinals didn't want to 'force' quarterback pick

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim spent the past few months stressing the importance of finding a successor to Carson Palmer at quarterback.

The need was so obvious, Keim acknowledged with a wink, that his 4-year-old son even recognized it.

That being the case, why did Arizona bypass the position entirely in the 2017 NFL Draft, watching three quarterbacks go off the board in the first round?

"We did our due diligence on all three of those guys," Keim told Adam Schein of SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio on Tuesday. "But at the end of the day Haason Reddick was our highest graded player on the board. The one thing I've been adamant about since I've become general manager here is not forcing that pick.

"There's no doubt that it's a quarterback-driven league and you have to identify a young quarterback for our future. But at the same time, I think you can get in trouble by forcing that pick. And if your instinct and your gut doesn't tell you this is the guy, it has a chance of setting you back three or four years."

Palmer contemplated retirement in January, leaving his Arizona future up in the air beyond the 2017 season. Keim will now turn his attention to the 2018 draft class, which has the potential to feature ballyhooed underclassmen such as USC's Sam Darnold, Wyoming's Josh Allen, Louisville's Lamar Jackson and UCLA's Josh Rosen.

"Looking at the future, you know you keep an eye on next year's draft," Keim explained. "You have an idea of the four or five guys that certainly could help us. And then you also look into free agency, which there are going to be a few quarterbacks that are available. There are also going to be some trade options.

"I think there will be a quarterback of the future out there for us to obtain but at the same time there is a present that we have to take care of and guys like Carson and Larry (Fitzgerald) definitely deserve the best."

In other words, Keim opted for a win-now approach, attempting to pry open his "All or Nothing" Super Bowl window for another year or two before Palmer and Fitzgerald decide walk off into the sunset.

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