The Cards quarterback conundrum: Is the juice worth the squeeze?

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The Cardinals won't show their hand for the draft and talked about their draft philosophy. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Cardinals won't show their hand for the draft and talked about their draft philosophy. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Keim often states that when he misses on a draft pick, it’s more a miss on the person rather than the player. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Keim often states that when he misses on a draft pick, it’s more a miss on the person rather than the player. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Wilks seems to share the same philosophies – stressing character and work ethic – especially with players in the later rounds. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Wilks seems to share the same philosophies – stressing character and work ethic – especially with players in the later rounds. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Cardinals currently have eight picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Cardinals currently have eight picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

“It’s that time of year when the misinformation is flowing,” said Cardinals general manager Steve Keim as he opened Wednesday’s press conference. “And I don’t expect the next 20 minutes to be any different.”

Kidding. Not kidding.

The Arizona Cardinals annual pre-draft press conference has evolved from, “who are you looking at,” to more a study in overall draft philosophy.

Keim and new head coach Steve Wilks won’t publicly show their cards but they will share some of the thinking that leads to, well, the thinking.

[RELATED: New Cardinals head coach: 'I like where we're at']

Start with Keim’s philosophy on moving up in the first round, presumably at great cost, to draft a quarterback -  or taking a chance on a less favorable quarterback at the Cardinals’ current first-round position – the 15th overall pick.

“Are you willing to be in a position to set the franchise back for years if you’re not right,” said Keim. “It can be crippling for us if we traded the next couple of drafts to get a player who’s never taken a snap and then doesn’t have success.”

Wilks joked that if he and Keim could predict how the first round will shake out, they may as well run out and buy lottery tickets. Oklahoma’s brash Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield was in Tempe Wednesday visiting the Cardinals. Mayfield is a classic case of ideal college production and less-than-ideal NFL measurables.

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“It constantly challenges you,” said Keim. “Because we as evaluators, whether you’re a scout or a coach, you’re enamored by the tools – height, weight and speed. But there are certain guys who stick on rosters and they play for a long time because they love it. They can learn it because they’re instinctive – things you can’t coach.”

Keim often states that when he misses on a draft pick, it’s more a miss on the person rather than the player. Wilks seems to share the same philosophies – stressing character and work ethic – especially with players in the later rounds.

[READ MORE: Cardinals convene, keep 2018 goals in focus]

“I think the biggest thing is we get the right guys with the right traits,” said Wilks. “I think I have a coaching staff that, No. 1, are great teachers and outstanding communicators. Guys who can develop players.”

The Cardinals currently have eight picks in the 2018 NFL Draft which begins Thursday, April 26.

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