Cardinals Agree to Terms With Third Rookie

The Arizona Cardinals announced today that they have signed seventh-round pick Brandon Keith to a three-year deal. The rookie offensive tackle came out of Northern Iowa and is expected to provide the needed depth at the line.

Brandon Keith marks the third member of Arizona's 2008 draft class to have agreed to contract terms. Rookie classmates Kenny Iwebema (fourth round) and Tim Hightower (fifth round), preceded Keith.

The offensive lineman shows great versatility and can be used at both guard and tackle. Offensive coordinator Russ Grimm could mold Keith into anything he wanted to for the Cardinals. Keith's 6'5", 343 frame brings excellent size and bulk without slowing him down. He is an outstanding athlete, but struggles with stamina.

Lucky for Keith, he and Grimm have hit it off from the start. Keith told that at first Grimm could look pretty intimidating, but that he's a player coach and he doesn't treat the starters different from the rookies.

Keith might need extra attention though. His commitment has been questioned. He recently pleaded guilty to a pair of misdemeanor chargers from a disturbance in Iowa last March. He was sentenced to one-year probation.

Despite the reputation, his former offensive line coach had nothing but good to tell about Keith.

"I have been coaching for 24 years now, and often times you get kids that you really enjoy and hate to see them leave your program," Rick Nelson said. "Brandon was one of those kids. I'm really proud of him for being drafted and also graduating college. He transferred here from a big school (Oklahoma) and never said two words about playing there. He is humble and a true teammate."

Keith has set goals for himself. Other than making the team, he wants to learn as much as he can, and pick up the Xs and Os as fast as possible. He told that he needs to take advantage of any opportunities present to learn as much as he can about the game.

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