Back in November Kliff Kingsbury had one of the best seats in the house for the Kyler Murray show. In the week leading up to Oklahoma’s 51-46 shootout win in Lubbock, Kingsbury said that if he were were in control of an NFL franchise then he would draft Murray No. 1 overall.
Little did anyone know that less than four months later Kingsbury would be at the helm of an Arizona Cardinals franchise that had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The problem is that Arizona drafted Josh Rosen No. 10 overall in last year’s draft. While that certainly doesn’t mean that can’t take Murray this year, it does mean that it’s an unlikely scenario…but still possible.
Kingsbury has been careful with his words, making sure to give Rosen high praise. Still though, he can’t help himself when it comes to talking about Murray.
“The fascinating thing with Kyler is he is the quickest player on the field, at the quarterback position,” Kingsbury said on NFL Network on Wednesday.
He still has the Rosen problem though. The second-year quarterback is set to make just under $4 million dollars this year. That’s a lot of money to pay out to a guy who wouldn’t be your future anymore. So, the logical expectation is that Arizona would need to unload him in order to make room for Kyler Murray. That could be a reason to talk him up, as Kingsbury has been doing, to increase his trade value.
“The talent is obviously there,” Kingsbury said during his podium session on Wednesday, ultimately calling Rosen “very cerebral. And I just like the way he fought at the end of the year, facing adverse conditions, never turned it down, continued to get up, continued to fight and compete his tail off until the end.”
Of course it take more than just a head coach to draft players in the NFL. You have to have the GM on board as well and that certainly doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Cardinals.
“It’s still early in the process,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim said about taking Murray with the top pick. “We haven’t gone through our full evaluation at all the positions. So really it’s too early to say.”
That’s undoubtedly a way of addressing the issue without tipping their hand, but if the Cardinals are going to make a move on Rosen you can expect that to happen quickly as they’ll most likely want a few extra picks in April for him.
An impressive performance from Murray at the combine could set this all in motion. Managing the business side of player personnel, Keim wasn’t as willing to produce the same fluff when asked about Rosen on Wednesday.
“Is Josh Rosen our quarterback? Yeah, he is, right now, for sure,” Keim said. “Right now” could change at just about any moment as the draft approaches.