first_img“The [players] that have had success are the guys who are competitive as hell, can learn it and can process information. If they can’t do any of those things, we’ve got to make sure we steer clear of them.”There is no accounting for the injuries that derailed 2013 first-round pick Jonathan Cooper, 2014 second-round pick Troy Niklas or Mathieu, but that does not explain the lack of return (thus far) on 2016 first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche, third-rounders Kareem Martin (2014, now with the Giants), Chad Williams (2017), Brandon Williams (2016) or 2016 fourth-rounder Evan Boehm.Keim’s trade for Palmer in 2013 worked out well, but his neglect of the quarterback position through the draft (other than 2014 head-scratcher Logan Thomas) has left him reliant on injury-prone Sam Bradford to engineer a Palmer or Kurt Warner-like resurrection.Keim oversaw the best three-year, regular-season run in Cardinals history from 2013-15. That played a role in his extension, even if the Cardinals qualified for the playoffs just twice and won just one playoff game in his previous five seasons as GM.It won’t shield him now.Arians’ bravado is gone. So is Palmer’s underappreciated skill. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Genuine humility is the rarest of human commodities, one that could serve Keim well, but he’ll need more than introspection to chart a new course for the Cardinals after the retirements of coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer, the defection of a diminished Tyrann Mathieu and the approaching retirement of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.Above all else, he’ll need more consistent success in the NFL Draft than his five previous years have produced.Related LinksRanking all 42 of Steve Keim’s Arizona Cardinals draft picksCardinals GM Steve Keim signs contract extension through 2022Two-and-a-half months after he signed a contract extension that will keep him with the team through 2022, Keim is staring at a roster that lacks depth at numerous positions including wide receiver, running back, defensive back and tight end.There are also significant questions at quarterback and along the offensive and defensive lines. That is as much a reflection of his scouting and salary-cap staffs as it is of him, but it is Keim who must shoulder the blame due to title, pay grade and power.“I think you always tweak a few things based on, really, self-evaluation when you look back at some of the things you should have done differently and look at whether mistakes are being made or areas where you can actually improve,” he said. “We’ve done that. Whether it’s adding some analytical work, just to make sure the checks-and-balances system is in place, or whether it’s areas of concern in terms of character, where we’ve added some key points to the process. Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports) 49 Comments   Share   TEMPE, Ariz. – There is no visible ego emanating from Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, no outward sign that hubris will be an occupational impediment.As he prepared for his sixth NFL Draft in his current position, Keim admitted to constant self-reflection when discussing his evolution as an executive.“I think about the things that I’ve done wrong more so than about the things that have gone well,” he said at a recent press conference. “To me, when you’re a competitor, that’s how you grow and get better in this business is to be critical of yourself.” First-year coach Steve Wilks has deferred to Keim on most subject matters, putting the spotlight squarely on Arizona’s GM.Maybe he’ll trade up and find the franchise’s quarterback of the future. Maybe he’ll trade down and acquire enough picks to address some of those depth issues.Whatever the process, it’s Keim’s show now, and he is on the clock. No NFL executive enjoys job security, but Keim’s resume is not impressive enough to provide any comfort.“I sit in my office and look at the depth chart and it’s hard for me to look at any position and see it as a strength, because in my position, you really have to be critical and you always have to be trying, striving to get better,” he said. “I see more holes than I see strengths.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more