Most mock drafts have penciled Kyler Murray in as the No. 1 pick for weeks, but now the Cardinals are having some last minute doubts.
Kyler Murray still has a good chance to go to the Cardinals with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. It’s no longer considered to be a foregone conclusion around the league though. There’s a very real possibility that Arizona is going to go in a different direction.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network claims that when April began he thought the chances of Murray going to Arizona with the first pick were at 90%. That’s what makes his admission that the chances have dropped to 60% today so interesting. If Murray doesn’t go No. 1 it’s going to cause a massive shakeup at the top of the draft.
Obviously if Murray doesn’t go first to the Cardinals it opens up the possibility that other teams can acquire him. The Raiders would certainly have strong interest in the former Oklahoma star at No. 4. The chances of him getting past the Giants at No. 6 are fairly remote.
There’s also a significant chance that another team would try to move ahead of Oakland to select Murray. Starting quarterbacks on rookie contracts are immensely valuable in today’s NFL. Any number of teams might see Murray as an upgrade on the field and for their salary cap.
Murray moving off the first pick also opens up the question of who the Cardinals would select instead. It seems very likely that Arizona would go for one of the draft’s top defensive prospects instead of another quarterback. Quinnen Williams and Nick Bosa would both be important building blocks for the team’s defense moving forward.
Murray sliding down would also be great news for Josh Rosen. He’d suddenly be in a position to retain his position as the Cardinals starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. Last year’s first round pick doesn’t have the mobility to be a perfect fit in new coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, but he does have the arm talent to do some interesting things in 2019.
It’s always possible that the Cardinals are just trying to keep everyone guessing by expressing some false concern about Murray, but this seems like more than that. If they change their minds about the No. 1 pick it’s going to have a big impact on the rest of the first round.