With the importance that teams are now putting on having a dominant pass rusher, many have viewed Ohio State’s Nick Bosa as the favorite to go No. 1 in the draft this year. Had the Arizona Cardinals hired anyone else to be their next head coach, he would probably still be considered a lock to go No. 1.
But they hired an offensive minded coach in Kliff Kingsbury. Even though the Cardinals just selected Josh Rosen in the first round of the draft last year, they may go with a quarterback this year—Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman winner Kyler Murray.
Rosen was highly regarded coming out of college and didn’t have a bad rookie season once he replaced Sam Bradford. He wasn’t a shining star, of course, but he didn’t play so poorly that he already needs to go. However, Kingsbury likes to run a particular style of offense that requires an athletically gifted quarterback.
Murray fits the bill. Rosen does not.
Heading into the Combine, there was a lot of talk surrounding the Cardinals, Murray, and the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft. After measuring 5’10 1/8” at the Combine, the conversation became more and more favorable concerning Murray.
By the time the end of the Combine drew near, the rumor mill seemed convinced that the Cardinals are going to take Murray over Bosa.
At least one oddsmaker is inclined to agree. Sugarhouse Sportsbook in New Jersey opened a few draft prop bets on Monday including who would go No. 1. They began the day with Bosa having even odds and Murray at +160. By the time the afternoon rolled around, the two were co-leaders at +110.
Offshore at BetOnline.ag has Murray as the outright favorite to go No. 1. They have the odds set at (as of March 5):
- Kyler Murray -200
- Nick Bosa +150
- Quinnen Williams +1200
- Josh Allen +1600
Murray’s odds were +500 just a couple weeks ago, but it is amazing what a ton of good press can do for you.
However, the question remains—who will they select?
With the importance that a quarterback has with the type of offense a coach runs and the link between a head coach keeping his job and the performance of his offense, most head coaches prefer to select their own quarterback rather than go with whomever they inherit.
That way, there is no excuse at the end of the season. If a coach goes with a quarterback he didn’t choose, he can always blame offensive failures on the QB he was stuck with.
Most owners will not care to hear any excuses. They may give a coach another year but if it still doesn’t work, out he goes—and the cycle of losing continues.
So, there is a very strong argument for the Cardinals going with Murray. However, if they are going to, they need to find a trade partner that will take Rosen in exchange for draft picks. That way, they can still get some defensive line help later in the draft.