Arizona Cardinals play coy about the third overall pick, strategy ahead of NFL draft

Photo Credit: Reese Andrews/Crokite NEWS: Cardinals linebacker Saven Collins shows off the team’s new all-black jersey, which will likely be the team’s centerpiece for the primetime game at State Farm Stadium. will be uniform. The Cardinals are keeping a low profile when it comes to the upcoming NFL Draft.

To Jordan Riandl/ Cronkite News

Tempe – Ahead of the first NFL Draft under Monty Ossenfort and Jonathan Gannon, the Arizona Cardinals seem to be eyeing a rebuild.

But don’t say that to the rookie head coach who has led the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense for the past two seasons.

“I don’t like the word ‘rebuild,'” Gannon told reporters on Friday. “Our only focus is to win football games.”

That said, the Cardinals have the No. 3 overall pick in this week’s draft, which kicks off Thursday at 4 p.m. Arizona time. There is some question as to whether the Cardinals intend to use or trade the No. 3 pick, but Ossenfort said he would base his decision on what’s best for the team.

“If a trade made sense and was the right decision for the team at the time, we would do it,” said Ossenfort, who was hired to replace Steve Kaim on Jan. 16. If you pick a player who has put in a lot of effort throughout the (scouting) process, be prepared to do so. ”

But what will the Cardinals look for this week and future draft picks? Ganon likened the creation of a roster to the creation of a painting. Ultimately it’s the configuration that matters.

“You can use different colors and different brushes, but you have to stay within the canvas,” said Gannon. “We have a lot of players who can help us win the game.”

Regardless of the Cardinals’ first-round pick decision, the team’s key decision makers will spend the next few days weighing a series of draft scenarios to see how the choices Carolina and Houston make ahead of them. will have to plan whether to redirect Who to choose or whether to make a deal.

“[Mock drafts]help in that process,” Ossenfort said. “Some people are crazy. But let’s be honest, crazy people can be more accurate.”

The Cardinals’ draft committee is nearly complete, and Ossenfort’s partnership with Gannon, along with his background in scouting, has ensured he’s got the specific players he wants to pick with eight picks.

Ossenfort served multiple terms with the New England Patriots, winning three Super Bowl titles in multiple scouting and director roles. Gannon spent two seasons in 2009 and 2010 as a scout for the St. Louis Rams.

“[Ganon]understands how the players look,” Ossenfort said. “Jonathan knows what we want in our Scouts, and that brings a truly unique perspective and appreciation of what our office staff do.”

But part of Ossenfort’s responsibility is to handle roster matters independently of the draft. This offseason, the Cardinals also dealt with the departure of several veterans, including standout pass rusher JJ Watt, and a potential trade for star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Safety leader Buddha Baker, who was the leader of the defense at the time, reportedly asked for a trade to further muddle things ahead of the draft.

“Myself, (Ganon), we have had many conversations with Buddha and his representatives. There have been many productive conversations that continue to this day,” Ossenfort said. “I have been very clear about how I feel about Buddha as a person and as a player, and nothing has changed about that.”

Ossenfort made similar comments about Hopkins.

Meanwhile, when Mr. Baker was hired about a month after Mr. Ossenfort joined the company, Mr. Gannon raved about Mr. Baker. But he said he wasn’t bothered or offended by hearing about the trade request.

“I like to hear how all the players are feeling. I want to hear how they are feeling and what they are going through because they are different,” said Gannon. said. “I know[Baker]in his heart, I know he’s a phenomenal person and he’s a phenomenal player.

“I think a lot of the stories and things that a lot of people consider distractions actually don’t bother you if you’re focused on what you’re doing every day.”

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