NFL Draft 2019: Why Cardinals should keep Josh Rosen

NFL Draft 2019: Why Cardinals should keep Josh Rosen

When analyzing the rookie season of a quarterback, it is often better to focus on moments rather than their record.

Many rookie passers struggle off the bat, but if they have season-defining moments that suggest they can have long-term success, then there is reason for optimism.

And, in a dismal season in which the Cardinals finished 3-13, Rosen enjoyed such moments. He led the Cardinals on a fourth-quarter comeback against the 49ers and also helped them to a surprise victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Playing behind a dreadful offensive line, the fact Rosen was able win three games was a minor miracle. To jettison him after trading up to draft him last year and then use the number one pick on another quarterback when Arizona has a need at almost every other position would border on franchise malpractice.

The argument for cutting ties with Rosen and going with Murray is that the latter is a better fit for the “Air Raid” system new head coach Kliff Kingsbury employs, with his upside as a runner bringing more versatility to the scheme.

However, mobility has never been a prerequisite for playing quarterback in the Air Raid. To the contrary, it is a scheme predicated largely on passing from the pocket — Rosen’s bread and butter — with the largely immobile Gardner Minshew leading college football in passing yards playing in the system for Washington State last season.

It is also an offense based around simplicity that relies on the same small sample size of concepts being used frequently but often disguised by the use of different formations and personnel.

In short, it is an offense that Rosen is actually well suited for and should have no difficulty learning. Murray may offer a touch more upside as a runner, but that upside is not close to being valuable enough to miss out on an elite defensive prospect like Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim should stick with the man he moved for in 2018, and bank on him producing more game-winning moments this year.