Why the Cardinals shouldn't trade down in the 1st round

Arizona Cardinals Introduce Kyler Murray

I view the Cardinals as a start-up operation. Second-year quarterback, second-year head coach, four new starters added in free agency or through trades, and one more starter coming through the draft. You know what they say about start-ups? Timing is everything.

It's not your business plan, it's not your funding, it's not even your big idea. Timing. Is the market ready for your product? Is the economy in the right place? Is technology trending in your favor?

Bill Gross, a serial start-up investor, points out in his TED talk above that companies like Airbnb and Uber benefited from a recession, when people were desperate enough to rent their personal spaces out to strangers, or drive strangers in their own cars.

Timing is everything.

So, what's with this report?

The Cardinals want to trade down, presumably out of the top-10, in a year when Ian Rapaport reports the top-10 picks may be completely comprised of quarterbacks and offensive tackles?

He also said today that the Dolphins are looking to trade up to No. 3 to get their preferred tackle.

Say the Cardinals do move down past pick No. 12. If the Dolphins take a tackle at No. 3, that leaves the Giants, Panthers, Browns and Jets as extremely offensive tackle-needy teams, all picking before the Cardinals. Yikes.

Timing is everything, and now is not the time to pass up on one of these premiere offensive tackles.

Kyler Murray's entering his sophomore year after being sacked 48 times in 2019 - tied for the most sacks taken in the NFL. We saw what happened to Baker Mayfield when the Browns put sizzle over substance in his second year.

Please spare me with the "Kyler contributed to half of those sacks!" takes. The Cardinals have been top-10 in the NFL in sacks allowed each of the past four seasons.

2019 - 6th most

2018 - 7th most

2017 - 4th most

2016 - 8th most

The last time the Cardinals won a playoff game was the last time their offensive line was in the top half of the league - in 2015 - when they allowed just the 5th-fewest sacks in the NFL.

Five years later, it isn't just Aaron Donald wreaking havoc in the NFC West. It's Aaron Donald, Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford.

Timing is everything. Now isn't the time to get cute, which is exactly what trading down on Thursday - in hopes of recouping the 2nd-round pick lost in the DeAndre Hopkins trade - would be.

Steve Keim has a history of risk-taking in the 1st round. Robert Nkemdiche, Hassan Reddick and Deone Bucannon were some of his worst offenses. Keim likes to swing for the fences, but right now it's about adding a can't-miss prospect during what should be a contending window.

That is, by the way, what the Cardinals are embarking on. They're in the rookie-quarterback-contract sweepstakes, and they're officially on the clock for the next three seasons.

I don't need cute, I don't need flash, and I don't need sizzle. Neither does Carson Palmer, who was the quarterback last time the Cardinals won a playoff game, and the last time the Cardinals had a good offensive line.

Timing is everything. What better time to stay put, invest in infrastructure, and protect important assets than right now, in the middle of quarantine?

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