Josh Rosen shouldn’t get too comfortable in Arizona. The Cardinals clearly are interested in taking Kyle Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft.
It seems like decades ago when the Cardinals selected Josh Rosen in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. One year later the organization could be poised to move on from him entirely. New head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s fascination in Kyler Murray might lead Arizona to make him the No. 1 pick in April’s draft.
It’s possible the Cardinals are just trying to keep everyone guessing about their true intentions, but meeting with the former Oklahoma signal caller at the combine seems to send a clear signal about their interest. At the very least, GM Steve Keim and company are seriously considering building their offense around Murray.
The ramifications of that decision for the Cardinals are far-reaching. Obviously, the team would look to move Rosen in a trade. They probably aren’t going to get a great return for a signal caller they’re clearly giving up on, but it’s possible they can recoup a decent draft selection on day two or day three for his services. Keeping Rosen in the building after giving up on him after one season is not a reality the Cardinals can select.
Taking Murray with the No. 1 overall pick also means the Cardinals will struggle to fill some of their other offseason needs via the draft. No one can argue that getting the call at quarterback correct isn’t a crucial move for a franchise that’s trying to rebuild, but spending such a high pick on Murray will essentially restart the process for the Cardinals.
Taking Murray No. 1 will also put a lot of pressure on other teams looking to add quarterbacks in the first round. The Giants are being strongly linked to Dwayne Haskins, but they’ll need to worry about teams moving up ahead of them to nab the Ohio State product. Teams picking 2-5 may get some enticing offers to move out of their draft slots to allow another team to take the signal caller of their choice.
Going all-in on Murray is also going to largely define Kingsbury’s time in charge of the Cardinals. His coaching tenure will be tied to the quarterback’s ability to succeed in the NFL. If he turns out to be the next Russell Wilson then Kingsbury will look like a genius. If he turns out to be the next Ryan Fitzpatrick then Kingsbury might be back in the college ranks very soon.
The Cardinals are going to look very different in 2019 no matter what. Don’t be surprised if the biggest difference is a seismic change in the identity of the team’s franchise quarterback.