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2018 NFL draft: Execs unfiltered on every team's picks

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Which team has a steal in the draft? (1:16)

Mel Kiper Jr. is a fan of the Eagles picking Dallas Goedert in the second round, while Todd McShay likes the Chargers picking Derwin James. (1:16)

The 2018 NFL draft was packed with drama (Baker Mayfield), debate (Saquon Barkley), edginess (Josh Rosen) and emotion (Shaquem Griffin).

Fans aren't the only ones buzzing. Coaches, executives and evaluators have their opinions as well -- opinions I've pulled together for this 32-team draft review. It's an inside look at the debates and conversations taking place inside team headquarters around the league.


Arizona Cardinals

The 2017 Cardinals were fifth on defense and 29th on offense in ESPN's efficiency metrics. They acted accordingly in the draft, using their first four choices to select offensive players. It began with the trade up from the 15th pick into the 10th slot to select Josh Rosen, the talented and perpetually outspoken quarterback from UCLA.

"I was hoping they would stay at 15 and get Lamar Jackson, but I don't have a problem with what they did," an exec said. "Everybody recognizes the talent with Rosen, but he is not the top guy in the draft because nobody likes him."

The Cardinals were in a difficult spot. They needed a quarterback, but they couldn't realistically trade up high enough to have their choice. They would land whichever quarterback lasted long enough to reach within striking distance. Rosen was prickly out of the gates, saying he would not "come in and be an a--h--- and think that my s--- don't stink," despite being "pissed" that teams drafting ahead of Arizona made "big mistakes" in choosing other QBs.

Exec after exec said the same things about Rosen. One called the former UCLA quarterback a combination of Jeff George and Jay Cutler who would struggle to lead a team. Another worried that Rosen was not durable, comparing him to current Cardinals starter Sam Bradford.

"I think they have it set up right in Arizona because [offensive coordinator] Mike McCoy can speak the kid's language and talk fast enough to try to stay ahead of the kid so he does not get bored," an insider said.

An exec noted that quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, already considered future head-coaching material by former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, would become a shooting star if he could help mold Rosen into a success.

"Byron will be good for the kid if Rosen allows it," an insider said.

This insider then let out a chuckle.

"Byron in about a week will probably want to take a poke at him," this insider continued. "He's from f---ing D.C., and he ain't having a cake eater walk in and act like an a--h---."