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Keim saw 1 franchise quarterback in draft

5/15/2014

After the first two days of the NFL draft, when Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and head Bruce Arians met with the media, I asked Keim about specific players he did not take.

With Arizona linked to a slew of potential draft picks through rumors, reports and mock drafts, it raised some questions -- at least to me -- as to why the Cardinals didn't go one way or the other. So when I asked Keim after Day 3 of the draft on Saturday if fourth-round pick Logan Thomas was the quarterback Arizona targeted from the get-go, Keim began talking about franchise quarterbacks.

"I think when you come with your philosophy, and I've said this many times before, when you are convinced that you have the franchise quarterback, you take him in the first round,” Keim said. "If you think a guy could be a franchise quarterback, you take a chance later in the draft.”

Totally makes sense.

Then Keim continued...

"There was one guy in this draft that I was convinced was a franchise quarterback,” Keim said, then stopped and looked at me. "And don't ask me who it was.”

Laughter ensued but I didn't have to ask. It was pretty obvious to almost everyone.

Keim was likely referring to former Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles, who went third to Jacksonville. Only two other quarterbacks went in the first round: Johnny Manziel to Cleveland and Teddy Bridgewater to Minnesota, and neither gave you the feeling of a franchise quarterback.

Bortles is 6-foot-5, about 230 pounds with a big arm and a high ceiling. Keim didn't need to tell me who he was referring to. I already knew.