Former Oklahoma QB and Heisman Trophy award winner Kyler Murray; turned out to be the number one selection in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. While it was speculated for months, no one knew what the official decision would be by Arizona.
This past Thursday, the Cards did something that we have never seen before in the NFL; a team select a quarterback with their first pick in back-to-back years. In 2018, the Cardinals drafted UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th overall pick; a pick they traded up for in order to get Rosen. A year later, the Cardinals take a QB with the first overall pick. The media immediately began to ponder what would happen to Rosen. Would they keep the former first round pick and make them battle it out in camp? Or would they be able to trade him. Inevitably, the Cardinals were able to find a trade partner with the Miami Dolphins and sent Rosen to South Beach for a second-round choice – 62nd overall – and a 2020 fifth-round pick.
Following the Murray selection, the Cardinals still had ten other selections remaining with many holes to fill on a depleted roster. Below is the complete list of the 2019 draft selections for the Cardinals:
Round 1 • Pick 1 (1) • QB Kyler Murray
Round 2 • Pick 1 (33) • CB Byron Murphy
Round 2 • Pick 30 (62) • WR Andy Isabella
Round 3 • Pick 1 (65) • DE Zach Allen
Round 4 • Pick 1 (103) • WR Hakeem Butler
Round 5 • Pick 1 (139) • S Deionte Thompson
Round 6 • Pick 1 (174) • WR KeeSean Johnson
Round 6 • Pick 6 (179) • OL Lamont Gaillard
Round 7 • Pick 34 (248) • OL Joshua Miles
Round 7 • Pick 35 (249) • DE Michael Dogbe
Round 7 • Pick 40 (254) • TE Caleb Wilson
Since the draft ended on Saturday, many experts have weighed in on their draft grades. Surprisingly the Cardinals have received a few “A” grades. But let’s delve deeper into these picks.
The pick that will be remembered the most in this draft will be Murray without a doubt. Does he become the next Patrick Mahomes, or will he be a dud, that leaves the Red Sea regretting the decision to trade Josh Rosen for Andy Isabella and a fifth-round pick in next year’s draft.
In this draft the Cardinals were able to address their biggest needs; which included both lines and players makers on the offensive side of the ball. Arizona drafted three wide receivers and added a tight end with this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” pick. They were also able to add two offensive lineman and a pair of secondary players. At one point during the 2018 season, Arizona started an entire make-shift offensive line; some of which whom weren’t even on the opening 53-man roster.
Overall, I do like this draft for the Cardinals. They desperately needed line help and they have no helped their cause both in the draft and earlier in this offseason in free agency. The Cards also needed to get some fresh bodies into the receiver room. Larry Fitzgerald’s clock has almost struck midnight and there isn’t much behind him. Christian Kirk showed some glimpses last year in his rookie season, before suffering a season ending injury. Chad Williams has officially become a “bust” in my opinion. I do like some of the fliers the Cardinals have taken this offseason on former Chicago Bear Kevin White, along with free agents Pharoh Cooper, Malachi Dupre, and Damiere Byrd. You pair all of them with the likes of Andy Isabella; who looks like a future Danny Amendola, Hakeem Butler; who compares to a former Hakeem Hicks, and KeeSean Johnson. It should play out to be a fun training camp battle in the receivers’ room.
With all of this said, it looks like on paper that the lines are stronger, and the weapons are there offensively for the Cards. The defense will look to get back to what they use to be, under first year defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. The biggest question will be how does Kyler Murray hold up in his rookie year and will height be a factor?
I give the Cardinals a solid “B” grade in this 2019 draft. They knew where their weaknesses were, and they addressed them. The made the bold move of drafting another quarterback this year; one that fits the system for first year head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
General Manager Steve Keim has gone out and done his job, acquiring the talent necessary to begin the process of climbing back to the top of the NFC West. It is now wait and see for Cardinals fans on if the Kliff Kingsbury – Kyler Murray Air Raid offense will work at the NFL level.
Stay tuned Red Sea!