The Arizona Cardinals committed to Josh Rosen as the team’s quarterback, with one little caveat.
When Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim took the podium to speak at the NFL’s annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday morning, he offered up plenty of insight. One quote in particular could send ripples throughout the NFL offseason. ESPN’s Adam Schefter summed it up in a tweet:
Keim kind-of, sort-of committed to the Cardinals’ 2018 Round 1 draft pick, Josh Rosen, being the team’s signal-caller for next season. Throwing in the little extra “for now” have some speculating that Rosen’s time in Arizona may be short-lived.
By now, most of that speculation has centered around one key aspect: The Cardinals holding the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. For months mock drafts have written, in Sharpie, the name Nick Bosa next to that pick. Going forward, however, we could start seeing some mention Oklahoma Sooners’ quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Kyler Murray.
It is no surprise, given the love that new Cardinals’ head coach Kliff Kingsbury has spouted about Murray while at Texas Tech. Kingsbury will attempt to bring his up-tempo air raid-style attack to the NFL and some point to Murray as the perfect piece for that system. That, however, would mean that Rosen, only a year removed from being picked inside the top-15, would be replaced.
Keim’s seemingly non-committal statement is more about being a smart general manager than an indictment on Rosen. The Cardinals understand that this draft class presents an opportunity for them to get a king’s ransom for their first overall pick. Arizona is a team with plenty of holes to fill and as great as Bosa and Murray are, neither is changing that predicament. Instead Keim puts out the “for now” caveat in hopes to entice teams looking to grab Murray to give them a boatload of picks.
As an aside, Rosen would be, and is going to be, a great fit in Kingsbury’s system. While he lacks the athleticism that Kingsbury may like in his quarterback, the two most important traits for quarterbacks under that air raid attack are accuracy and mental processing. Those are the two best traits Rosen brings to the table. His cerebral play style and pinpoint accuracy would allow him to get the ball out of his hands quickly and to make the right play more times than not.
Murray may still get taken first overall, but it’s no guarantee that it is by the Cardinals. Instead, look for a team like Jacksonville, Miami or Washington to pony up compensation and jump to the top spot and grab him. The former Heisman Trophy winner has doubters, but he is changing tunes by the day. Arizona would be wise to shop the pick and build around Rosen.