There’s plenty of reason to believe the Cardinals could select Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in next week’s draft.
The two-sport star boasts all the credentials to be Arizona’s next starter after the team finished last season with a league-worst 3-13 record and missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
Murray led Oklahoma to a 12-2 record as he threw for 4,361 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2018. He also ran for 1,001 yards and capped off his final collegiate season by winning the Heisman Trophy.
Before that, however, he only threw 21 passes and rushed 14 times over seven games while backing up Baker Mayfield in 2017. As a freshman at Texas A&M in 2015, Murray threw 121 passes and rushed 53 times in eight games.
Given his late success on the football field, Murray announced in February he would pursue his dream of being an NFL quarterback, despite being selected by the Athletics with the ninth overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft.
His stock rose at the Scouting Combine in February, where he measured 5-10 and 1/8 inches and 207 pounds. It’s worth noting that quarterback Russell Wilson, who signed a mega contract extension to become the NFL’s highest-paid player earlier this week, posted similar measurements at 5-11 and 204 pounds before being drafted by the Seahawks. While Wilson ended up being a third-round pick, there’s no arguing that his underestimated talent has proven to be beneficial for Seattle.
There’s just one problem. Arizona already has Josh Rosen on the roster, which prompts the question: Could the Cardinals draft a top-10 quarterback for the second straight year? If they find a willing trade partner, then absolutely.
The Cardinals haven’t had a winning season since 2015 when they posted a 13-3 record and won the NFC West with veteran Carson Palmer at the helm. But Palmer retired at then end of the 2017 season after spending much of the year on injured reserve, leaving a sizable gap under center that Rosen couldn’t seem to fill in his first season. Rosen completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 games as a rookie.
If Murray ends up being picked in the first round, he would become the first player ever to be a first-round selection in both the MLB and NFL drafts.