Written By: David Connors @connors_david & Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy
With the first pick of the 2019 NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray, the Heisman-winning quarterback from Oklahoma University. Is he the franchise QB the Cardinals are looking for? Or was picking him one year after taking Rosen a mistake? Roy and I will lay out the argument for both sides, allowing the readers to decide for themselves.
Opening Argument Against Murray
The Arizona Cardinals went 3-13 in 2018. They had the first pick in the draft and for good reason; they were flat out awful. The roster had glaring holes on every part of the field. Even where they have elite football players seemed to still be weaknesses. With that said, some weaknesses were greater than others. Arizona needed significant upgrades to their trenches, secondary, and receiving core, while the two positions Arizona did not need to upgrade were the running back or quarterback. They had just traded up in the first round of the 2018 draft to grab their guy. He may not have had a great rookie season, but many proven veterans would have struggled behind their offensive line just as much. Granted at the top of the draft there were no offensive linemen worth taking. Kyler Murray is a great prospect, but there were ”can’t miss” athletes at the top of this draft. Any of the three top defensive linemen (Quinnen Williams, Nick Bosa, or Josh Allen) would have been a huge upgrade to the Cardinals defense. Although the Cardinals defensive line was not their biggest weakness, it still needs an upgrade which would help the entire defense. Adding Quinnen Williams to that D-Line would give the Cardinals a strength on their team. Kyler may be an improvement to Rosen, but does it really move the needle? Does it make them a better team? I argue no, at least not near the improvement they had the opportunity to make.
Open Argument for Murray
Wait, stop me if you have heard this over the past 3 months… The Cardinals have Josh Rosen, who they traded up for last year. No way Kiem will eat crow and take Murray. This is Kiem’s team, not Kliff Kingsbury… Well ladies and gentleman, but I hate to say I told you so. Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Kiem made the right call by fully committing to the Air Raid offense and selecting the single most dynamic QB in this year’s draft in Kyler Murray. As a scout, Murray was in rarified air when I evaluated him. Most QBs I scout, I jot down around one page worth of notes per game. Murray was in the class where each game had multiple pages. Since I have been doing this, only with two other quarterbacks has this occurred: Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. A pretty good company isn’t it? Murray was a unique prospect not only because he had off the charts athleticism and unique background as a baseball star but because of his ridiculous passing skills. Most of the time you have one or the other, but he was the rare breed that had both. His rushing skills are on par with Michael Vick, and I am convinced if he would have run a 40-yard dash, he would have run somewhere in the 4.3 area. His passing ability is highlighted by big-time downfield throws, but it is his anticipation, touch, and accuracy to all levels that sets him apart. He also has the ability to throw off a platform and doesn’t allow his height to restrict him. Yes Arizona, you got this right, and even more than that this will put the entire NFL on notice this offense is going to be multiple, dynamic, and explosive.