Kyler Murray is practically being inked in as the first overall pick in this year’s draft. But if the Arizona Cardinals don’t take him, is there a chance he falls?
The Arizona Cardinals won’t admit it in public, but they’re widely expected to take Kyler Murray No. 1 in the draft next Thursday night. It’s hard to draft analysts to stand out at this time of the year, but Aaron Taylor offered a blazing hot take on CBS Sports Network Tuesday night.
“If Arizona doesn’t take Murray, I project that he could possibly fall all the way out of the first round.”
Compared to last year, when five quarterbacks were drafted in the first round, this year’s class at the position is not as flush with talent. Four or five signal callers could still be taken in the first round, though, due to the premium placed on the position.
But coming off a Heisman Trophy-winning season, where he was remarkably prolific and efficient, Murray rose quickly once he decided to go all-in on football after being drafted in the first round by the Oakland Athletics last June. Add in Cardinals’ coach Kliff Kingsbury’s praise of Murray, when he was coach at Texas Tech last fall, along with the offense Kingsbury is bringing with him, and Arizona and Murray became an obvious match.
After the Cardinals, the Oakland Raiders (No. 4), the New York Giants (No.6 and No. 17), the Denver Broncos (No. 10), Cincinnati Bengals (No. 11), Miami Dolphins (No. 13) and Washington Redskins (No. 15) are in line to consider taking a quarterback in the top half or so of the first round.
The size question, overblown though it may be, is real with Murray. Being 5-foot-10 is a concern, and he seemed to only recently top 200 pounds, at the NFL Combine (207 pounds) and Oklahoma’s Pro Day (205). Quite frankly, regardless of the measurements, Murray looks slight in a way no NFL quarterback does.
On top of that, his say-nothing interview on The Dan Patrick Show during Super Bowl week was a bad showing, even if it was part of a marketing-driven media car wash obligation Murray didn’t really want (see the Gatorade bottle prop he had with him during the interview).
Falling all the way out of the first round is a stretch. Someone could trade up with the Cardinals, in order to get Murray first overall.
But if the Cardinals stay put and don’t take him, there’s a real chance Murray falls further than anyone expects next Thursday night.