For weeks now, there has been speculation that the Arizona Cardinals, owners of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, might select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who announced earlier this week that he is and plans to play in the NFL. That speculation is fueled by a quote from new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, who used to be the coach at Texas Tech, and stated in October that he would take Murray with the No. 1 overall pick.
“Kyler, I mean, he’s a freak, man,” Kingsbury said at the time, via Eric Kelly of KLBK. “Kyler is a freak. I’ve followed him since he was a sophomore in high school. Just think the world of him and what he can do on a football field. I’ve never seen one better in high school and he’s starting to show it now at the college level. I don’t have enough good things to say about him. He’s phenomenal.
“I’ve never seen him have a poor outing. Not one, which at quarterback is impossible to do but he’s done it. I’d take him with the first pick of the draft if I could. I know he’s signed up to play baseball but he is a dominant football player and I would take him with the first pick.”
The speculation regarding the Cardinals and Murray picked up on Monday when Murray hired agent Erik Burkhardt, whose client list includes … Kliff Kingsbury.
All this speculation is flying around despite the fact that the Cardinals traded up to draft former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen No. 10 overall just last year. Rosen’s rookie season did not go very well, but that’s largely because pretty much nothing went well for the Cardinals. He is still highly regarded in NFL circles, but that has not stopped the rumors from swirling about Murray.
In an effort to clear things up, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill addressed the situation on the radio, but let’s just say he did not exactly rule out the team drafting Murray at No. 1, even though he joked that the speculation is “good for the talk radio industry.”
“Josh is a smart guy, he’s been around and he’s seen what happens year in and year out,” Bidwill said, via the Cardinals official team website. “There’s always a lot of speculation that turns out to not be true. But moving forward, we’re going to continue to build this team and build around the foundation that we have.”
Regarding what the Cardinals are looking for with the No. 1 pick, here’s what Bidwill had to say.
“They’ve got to be an incredible athlete on the field,” he said. “You want somebody, especially with the number one pick, that you can look at and say, ‘This person is going to be here for 8-to-10 years and be an anchor at their position and be a real leader in our organization. It’s where the heart is and where the head is. Are they playing the game for money, or are they playing the game because they love the game? That’s the kind of person you want with your first-round pick.”
Read into that what you like.