The Arizona Cardinals were among the busiest NFL teams over the course of the 2022 NFL Draft.
In the third episode of Cardinals Flight Plan released Monday night, Arizona fans got a closer look into how everything went down over a three-day span.
Kicking things off was none other than the first-round trade to nab Marquise “Hollywood” Brown from the Baltimore Ravens and his surprise arrival to the desert.
Arizona went all in on rolling out the red carpet for Brown, with owner Michael Bidwill picking up the wide receiver from Las Vegas for the team’s NFL Draft party at State Farm Stadium.
From there, it was onto meet-and-greets with players and coaches at the facility before speaking with reporters.
The Cardinals’ NFL Draft work was far from over, however, with a handful of picks still to make over two days, starting with the 55th overall pick.
For Steve Keim, the general manager was torn between two players, one of which being Colorado State tight end Trey McBride, who the Cardinals ended up selecting with the pick.
“This is one of the few times I absolutely love both of these guys,” Keim said. “Only thing with McBride is 1) what’s his value going to be on (special teams)? Because he’s obviously going to have to play teams initially. And can Kliff get him on the field with (Zach Ertz) at the same time or interchangeable?”
From there, it was time to target a pair of pass rushers in San Diego State’s Cameron Thomas and Cincinnati’s Myjai Sanders, with Keim considering the former a big surprise at pick No. 87.
He may not have suited up with defensive lineman J.J. Watt, but Thomas certainly knows a thing or two about the defensive end.
“Someone I liked to model my game after a lot was J.J. Watt,” Thomas told coaches and scouts in a clip from the 2022 NFL Combine. “Once he gets the tackles to start sitting, he hits them with the power and now he’s going to hit them with a fake power inside move in. I actually learned that from him. I used it several times this year off his film.”
And as for one of the team’s seventh-round selections in linebacker Jesse Luketa, the rookie had one heck of a draft party to celebrate being selected, so much so that he lost his phone midway through his phone call with Keim and the team.
The work wasn’t done after the last pick was made, either, with the Cardinals honoring scout Darius Vinnett with the Rod Graves College Scouting Award.
Using different analytical formulas, the Cardinals identified Vinnett as the team’s most accurate scout for the year.
“I just want to thank God first and foremost,” Vinnett said after receiving the award. “This year was a pretty difficult year for me. It kind of put life into perspective. You guys, everybody in this room kind of gave me something to look forward to. I appreciate everybody in the room.”