After Kyler Murray eased some concerns about his size when he measured out at a robust 5’10 ⅛, speculation is only going to increase about the Cardinals taking him #1 overall. But what would actually have to happen for the Cardinals to make such a seismic decision 50+ days from now?
1) Cardinals have a plan
Having a plan is always kind of nice when you’re dealing with the single biggest on field decision an NFL franchise can make. By changing plans dramatically in one year, you can make a case that there really wasn’t much of a plan. Even if the Cardinals decision to draft Murray is steeped in football logic, franchises that abruptly shift direction rarely are rewarded for their flakiness. Kyler Murray has been around awhile. He isn’t some European basketball prospect that gets scouted off grainy Youtube footage. If the
Cardinals are going to take Murray, it would be nice to know they were the among the first to the Kyler Murray-is-a-franchise-QB party not amongst the bandwagoners that showed up in January.
2) Kingsbury pounds the table
This is the one area Kliff can’t defer to Steve Keim. So far, Kingsbury seems like less of a head coach and more of an extension of Steve Keim, right down to wearing the same clothes. With this decision, Kingsbury would have to passionately stump for Murray and convince the Cardinals brass how Murray would elevate his offensive scheme at the NFL level. He’d have to articulate how Murray would differ from Rosen and convince Keim and Bidwill that not only does he think Murray is a better fit but that Murray is the kind of difference maker that allows the Cardinals to abruptly pivot a year after committing to Rosen.
3) Murray impresses in person
Basically, Murray would have to be about 10,000 times more engaging than he was during his Dan Patrick Show Super Bowl interview. You can’t show up to the biggest job interview of your life and hope your dad is able to answer the toughest questions for you.This is also the clearest break from Baker Mayfield. Mayfield has a force of personality, we’re still waiting to see if Murray has any kind of personality.. He’d also have to show he’s a white board savant. While Murray made 85% of his throws from the pocket last year at Oklahoma, he’d have to show he can process and diagram NFL defenses as well as anything else.
4) Cardinals find suitable trade for Rosen
This may be the biggest obstacle. The Cardinals would HAVE to get a first round pick in return for Rosen. But without any leverage, would a team actually do it? There are plenty of teams that could use a long term answer at QB but would any of them be willing to trade a first rounder for a QB who by every objective statistical measurement was not good as a rookie and to a team they know HAS to trade Rosen. Of course, there were plenty of reasons that had nothing to do with Rosen’s ability for his rookie year performance but teams don’t generally give the benefit of the doubt in trade negotiations. If the Cardinals could secure a first rounder for Rosen, there would only be one last hurdle to clear.
5) Bidwill and Keim go ALL IN
This may seem obvious but decision makers in sports are risk averse by nature. Calculated, methodical, thorough are all compliments in sports whereas free-wheeling,spontaneous and risky are four letter words. Bidwill and Keim would have to throw caution to the wind and decide to pair the most unconventional head coach hiring in modern NFL history with the most unconventional quarterback this century with their most valuable offseason asset, the #1 overall pick. Easy to do from your living room, not as easy to do with the fate, credibility and momentum of your entire franchise for the next half decade at stake.