The Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in last week’s NFL draft. This is a puzzling selection given the fact that they drafted a quarterback last year and just fired their coach. There is a reason the team went 3-13 last year and were awarded the first pick of the draft, but teams should try to work with what they have for longer than one season. This is especially true since the replacement are completely unproven.
Much has been made about Murray’s height. Murray measured in at 5 feet 10 ⅛ inches at the NFL Combine, and while it makes me feel very tall to know that someone shorter than me is playing quarterback in the NFL, I question how someone this short can still be successful in this position. Quarterbacks only an inch or two taller have won Super Bowls: Russell Wilson won at 5 feet 11 inches, and Drew Brees is one of the best quarterback of all time at 6 feet, so I will not count him out. That being said, quarterback is a position that is generally a position dominated by players much taller than Murray No player is a surefire hit, but there are several players who have a better chance of being successful than Kyler Murray.
This same decision also bothers me on a human level. The Cardinals are managing their personnel very poorly this offseason. They fired their coach Steve Wilks after just one season. Granted, it was a terrible season, but they did not give him a chance to do anything with the bad team he inherited. They then turned around and hired the unproven Kliff Kingsbury after he was fired at Texas Tech. The NFL likes to follow trends. Sean McVay, the 33-year-old coach of the Los Angeles Rams, has done a great job turning that team into a success. McVay and Kingsbury are similar, they are both relatively young, offensive minded coaches. That said, Kingsbury did not have a winning record in six seasons as the head coach of Texas Tech and made only two bowl game appearances.
The move to draft Kyler Murray feels very familiar. The Cardinals used their 10th overall pick to select Josh Rosen last season. Rosen had a mediocre first season and the Cardinals could not wait to get rid of him. It was not that long ago that he earned the nickname “Chosen Rosen.” After the drafting of Murray, Rosen was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a second round pick and another fifth rounder. Who is to say that Rosen would not have made leaps and bounds in his second season as a starting quarterback?
It feels to me like the Cardinals never gave Wilks or Rosen a chance. This is not to say that either of them is the solution to their problem. If they have another bad season in 2019, are they going to fire Kingsbury, trade Murray and draft Justin Herbert in the top 10? Are they hoping if they get a new coach and quarterback every season that the law of averages will give them the right ones? Are they going to try to move again?
The book is yet to be written on the rookie quarterback and the 39-year-old head coach. If they have another bad season it will be interesting to see what happens with those two. At least they convinced Larry Fitzgerald to stick around another season.