Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray not worth the gamble
The Arizona Cardinals would be foolish to move on from Josh Rosen for an unproven college-style quarterback with size issues
The general manager of the Arizona Cardinals couldn’t help himself. When asked at the NFL Scouting Combine about Josh Rosen, Steve Keim failed to give his starting quarterback a ringing endorsement. In fact, the executive’s statement that the 22-year old is the Cardinals signal-caller “for now” only fueled speculation that they’re interested in Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray.
Unfortunately for Rosen fans, it’s beginning to appear as if the Murray rumors are here to stay. At least until April 25th, that is. The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft will take place on that day, and the question about what Arizona will do with the first-overall pick will finally be answered.
Hopefully, Keim was merely trying to drum up interest in the top selection with his ambiguous response to the quarterback question. Any thought of adding Murray to the roster, when they already have the capable Rosen as a starter, is completely ludicrous. For more reasons than one.
The most obvious knock on Murray is his lack of size. Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner checked in at 5’10, 207 pounds at the Combine. While many feel that those numbers equated to a “win” for the Murray camp, the 21-year old still appears to be small for someone who’s hoping to succeed at the professional level.
Drafting Murray would also mean another season of having a rookie at the most important position on the football field. The Cardinals already went through with that in 2018 with Rosen. Wouldn’t it be better to hand new head coach Kliff Kingsbury a signal-caller who has already experienced an NFL campaign?
The finances involved with dumping Rosen for Murray would be a factor as well. Trading the former UCLA Bruin would leave over $14 million of dead salary-cap money on the books. Cash that could be used to add more pieces to a squad that has quite a few holes to fill.
Using the first-round pick on Murray would also prevent the Cards from acquiring a difference-maker on defense. One candidate for the selection, Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, would provide an outstanding pass-rush from the outside linebacker spot. Another, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, would be a tremendous addition to the team’s defensive line.
At the end of the day, Arizona’s best bet is to just stay the course with the talented franchise quarterback that they already possess. Let another organization draft Murray, and then watch as pass after pass gets batted back into his face. Perhaps Keim will provide a much better endorsement for Rosen once the draft is over.