As the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Kliff Kingsbury holds the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray?
“Kyler, I mean, he’s a freak, man. Kyler is a freak. I’ve followed him since he was a sophomore in high school. Just think the world of him and what he can do on a football field. I’ve never seen one better in high school and he’s starting to show it now at the college level. I don’t have enough good things to say about him. He’s phenomenal. I’ve never seen him have a poor outing. Not one, which at quarterback is impossible to do but he’s done it. I’d take him with the first pick of the draft if I could. I know he’s signed up to play baseball but he is a dominant football player and I would take him with the first pick.”
Those are the words of new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury. These words by Kingsbury have sparked some interesting draft talks, especially since Kyler Murray is now expected to be in the NFL Draft. The reason why it’s so interesting, is because the Cardinals just finished their first year with rookie QB Josh Rosen. They selected him with the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft.
Could Kingsbury target Kyler Murray and trade Josh Rosen away?
Could Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? Interesting question. First of all, we have to put what Kingsbury said about Murray into context. The above quote by Kingsbury was made just days before his former team, Texas Tech, was about to take on the Oklahoma Sooners, who were then led by Kyler Murray. Knowing that, this wasn’t something Kingsbury said out of the blue just because he wanted to say it. Saying good things about the other team and their players is usually something coaches and players do before a matchup against them.
We’ve recently heard Bill Belichick say, “Keenan’s as good a receiver as there is in the National Football League,” while talking about Chargers receiver Keenan Allen ahead of their Divisional Round playoff game this Sunday. Does this mean Bill Belichick is trying to trade for Keenan Allen? No. I’m sure he’d love to have him, but saying something nice about him before a game against him doesn’t mean he’s targeting him.
Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? After putting this quote by Kliff Kingsbury into the right context, it doesn’t seem like something we should be hyping up. However, the possibility of this happening is still something interesting. Come one, how many times does something like this happen? How often do you see a college coach say he’d draft a player with the first overall pick if they could, and then move to the NFL and actually have the first overall pick? That just seems like fate to me.
Is Josh Rosen a franchise QB?
Some might believe Josh Rosen is a future franchise QB, but I personally don’t think he is. I didn’t like him coming into the draft, and I still don’t like him after his first NFL season. No, he didn’t have the best talent surrounding him in his rookie year. While that may be true, he still didn’t seem to show much promise. His stats for his rookie season were 55.2% completions, 2,278 passing yards, 11 TDs, 14 INTs and a passer rating of 66.7. Not exactly stats you’d see from a future franchise QB.
The Browns didn’t have the most talent this season, but they were significantly improved in the talent department from last season. Their rookie QB, Baker Mayfield, completed 63.8% of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 TDs, 14 INTs and a passer rating of 93.7. You can’t sit there and honestly tell me you think Josh Rosen would have done just as well with the Browns as Baker Mayfield did. There’s just no way. The Browns would still have been the laughing stock of the league with Rosen at QB this season. On the flip side, I’d be willing to bet the Cardinals would have won more than three games with Baker Mayfield.
There’s a huge difference between Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen. One is a franchise QB (Mayfield), the other, in my opinion, is not (Rosen). If you’ve been following Fourth Quarter Sports for a while, you’ll know I was a huge fan of Baker Mayfield entering the NFL Draft. I pushed for the Browns to draft him over any other QB in the draft, because I knew he was the best QB in that draft class.
Here’s where I begin to make my push for the Cardinals to draft Kyler Murray.
Kyler Murray vs Josh Rosen
Again I pose the question, will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? I believe he should. I believe that if Murray chooses the NFL over MLB, he’ll be a franchise QB in the league. Can anyone else see the next Russell Wilson? Maybe even a better version of Russell Wilson! Forget the height concerns, just look at the stats.
In his Heisman winning season, Kyler Murray completed 69% of his passes for 4,361 yards, 42 TDs, seven INTs and a passer rating of 199.2. He also added 1,001 yards and 12 TDs rushing the ball. If you haven’t seen Murray run, go watch some tape. This kid has speed, which teams are starting to value a lot more from the QB position. If you want an example of that, look at Lamar Jackson.
Jackson had a lot of success this season because of his ability to run. His biggest improvement area has to do with his passing ability. Kyler Murray is still young and can improve as as a passer, but he’s already miles ahead of where Lamar Jackson is, and he doesn’t even play in the NFL yet.
Josh Rosen doesn’t have that special rushing ability. He doesn’t have that special passing ability. If you ask me, I don’t think the Cardinals are trending in the right direction with Rosen under center. I think all they’ve done is stall their growth. They might improve slightly over two or three years, but I just don’t see Josh Rosen ever taking the Cardinals to the place every team wants to be. With Kyler Murray, I can see that growth. Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? That remains to be seen, but he should, because their potential as a team will be significantly higher with Murray than it will ever be with Josh Rosen.
Are there trade partners for Josh Rosen?
Unless the Cardinals plan on making the former 10th overall pick their backup QB in just his second year, they’ll obviously have to trade Josh Rosen for this move to even be considered seriously. The problem is, would there be any takers for the second year QB?
If you look at all the teams who need a QB, you’ve got the Broncos, Giants, Dolphins, Redskins and Jaguars who are the most likely takers. With all those teams, there’s a good chance they could look to the draft for their next QB. The Cardinals could wait until after the draft to see how it plays out for those teams. They could then try trading him to a team who didn’t get a QB. But maybe the Cardinals want to get some more draft capital for the 2019 NFL Draft.
So who else could potentially be in for Josh Rosen? Well, you’ve got teams with aging QBs. Some of those teams are the Patriots, Chargers and Saints. Would they be willing to pay the price the Cardinals would want for Josh Rosen?
I think the Cardinals could find a trade destination for Rosen, but would they get the price they’d want? I’m not sure about that.
Is Kyler Murray better than 2020’s QBs?
Here’s another good question to consider. As I asked the opinions of my fellow writers on this topic, Cullen Jekel posed this answer. “Too soon to move on from him (Rosen). And if after one year it’s clear he isn’t the answer, take Tua (Tagovailoa) or (Jake) Fromm next year.”
Cullen makes a good point. The Cardinals could stick with Josh Rosen for another year to see how he improves. If he doesn’t work out, they’ll have some of the top QB choices available to them in the 2020 NFL Draft. Is Kyler Murray going to be a better NFL QB than Tua Tagovailoa or Jake Fromm? That’s up for the Cardinals to decide.
Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? It makes sense for the Cardinals to stick with Rosen and give him more time. However, I think Murray will be the better NFL QB. If Kingsbury and the Cardinals think so too, they could actually make this move. If this move actually did happen, it could have a huge impact on the future of the NFL. It’d be one of the most interesting moves we’ve ever seen, and we’d definitely remember it for a long time.
Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!