The Cardinals interest in Kyler Murray might not be as real as you think.
By now, as an Arizona Cardinals fan, you are most likely sick of hearing that the team will give up on Josh Rosen to select Kyler Murray. Unfortunately, that talk won’t stop, but you don’t have to believe it.
The Arizona Cardinals have both a blessing and a curse as the team with the number one pick. The blessing, of course, is having the pick of the gridiron litter. The curse is the same thing, but with a dark twist. Like in every draft, the media will generate interest in a controversial household name to be the number one pick. In 2019, that player just so happens to be Kyler Murray.
This is not a new or unproven theory. Remember when the Texans had the first pick in 2015 when ‘sure-thing’ Jadeveon Clowney was coming in? The media didn’t center their attention towards Clowney, no, it was Johnny Manziel that was pushed onto the public as the guy the team should select, despite having a litany of obvious red flags.
Or, even in 2017, when the Browns had the top pick and selected the unanimous best player Myles Garrett. The media was infatuated with projecting and saying college superstar Deshaun Watson would be that pick.
It’s simple, Johnny Manziel, Deshaun Watson, and Kyler Murray all have the same two qualities — the namesake to generate clicks and views, and the dynamic play to possibly turn around a franchise.
Like the Texans in 2015, and the Browns in 2017, the Cardinals are in a very similar situation in 2019, but they can exploit it like no others, due to a few words said by new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who said that he would draft Kyler Murray with the top pick if he could. And now, he has the opportunity to do so.
Bringing in Kingsbury is an excellent hire on its own, but bringing him in after he proclaimed himself as a fan of Kyler Murray is borderline genius. What this does is make other NFL teams wanting him just that much more nervous that the Cardinals will select Murray, a natural fit in the Kingsbury offense, and a player he recruited coming out of high school.
Making those teams nervous that they will select Murray is a powerful move, that could garner an even bigger haul than the Tennessee Titans got for the first pick just a few years ago from the Rams to select Jared Goff. The trade included the 15th overall pick, 2017 first, two 2016 seconds, 2016 third, and a 2017 third. A haul to say the least. But, the Cardinals can get more.
To do so, the Cardinals have to show some interest in Murray, even though Rosen was their first round pick just a year ago, which they have done by scheduling an interview with him at the combine and bringing in Kliff Kingsbury.
Say you are the general manager for a team that is desperate for a franchise quarterback, and you can’t wait for 2020. Only two prospects (Murray, and Dwayne Haskins) currently stand out as franchise quarterbacks, while players Drew Locke, Daniel Jones, Will Grier, and Jarett Stidham have a fair share of skepticism revolving around their play and potential. If news breaks that the Arizona Cardinals are in love with Murray and will likely select him, you only have Haskins left.
So what? Haskins looks fantastic, pick him.
It’s not that simple. Realistically, there are four teams that currently look to be in need of a young franchise quarterback and might trade up to do so (Giants, Jaguars, Dolphins, and Redskins). There are even more that might be looking for the heir apparent or want an upgrade over their current option (Raiders, Chargers, Saints, Patriots, Bengals, Broncos, and to a lesser extent, the Buccaneers).
That’s 11 teams possibly looking for a franchise quarterback in the next two years. There is only one Kyler Murray and one Dwayne Haskins. In 2020, there is only one Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and Jake Fromm, which leaves six quarterback-less.
What does that mean? It means that a team will get desperate and want to lock up the guy they view as the franchise quarterback in 2019. In turn, they will seek the pick that will get their guy, the number one selection.
And that’s where the genius of the situation comes in, because, the Cardinals have shown interest, teams will be even more desperate to get their guy, no matter the cost. The result of that desperation? An offer that the Cardinals can’t refuse. A trade that changes the course of the franchise’s direction.
The Cardinals roster won’t be fixed with Nick Bosa. While he looks to be the real deal, the team needs depth at various spots of the roster, and a massive trade offer could do that.
So, I’d recommend that Cardinals fans stay patient. The mock drafts expecting Kyler Murray to be the first pick, and the talking heads bashing Josh Rosen is exactly what the team wants. Because, how else are you supposed to convince everybody that he will be the selection?