The Arizona Cardinals first overall on Thursday. The shock wasn’t because they took Murray — that was speculated for months — it was because they did so without dealing Josh Rosen, leaving them with two unproven quarterbacks on rookie contracts that they drafted in back-to-back years.
Perhaps even stranger, according to MMQB’s Robert Klemko, the pick apparently came without much foresight. Per MMQB, the Cardinals only began to legitimately shop Rosen minutes before the draft’s 8 p.m. ET start time. And they were hard-line on wanting a first-round pick, something that no team would give up.
Of course, there’s still time to deal Rosen. The Dolphins are , as this year they signed bridge QB extraordinaire Ryan Fitzpatrick. Miami had the 13th pick overall, which they apparently deemed too steep a price for last year’s No. 10 overall pick, and took Christian Wilkins — who Pete Prisco called . The Dolphins could be holding out until next year’s quarterback draft class, which may or may not include Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.
According to MMQB, two other teams inquired about Rosen. The Redskins and Giants were both interested, but the Giants landed Daniel Jones sixth overall while the Redskins took Dwayne Haskins, who somehow slid to 15th, leaving the Cardinals out in the cold.
So, what’s the lay of the land in Arizona? A rookie quarterback in Murray who’s unproven at the pro level, a sophomore quarterback in Rosen who unfollowed the team on social media and who is also largely unproven at the pro level, and no teams except Miami with a glaring enough hole at quarterback to trade for said disgruntled quarterback. Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t exactly have a veteran he can sit Murray behind, so the pressure to start Murray early will be immense.
Something can still happen and Rosen can still be moved, but the Cardinals simply blew their best shot. It should be assumed they knew they were taking Murray at least weeks in advance, and as draft day drew nearer their leverage decreased. If they hoped some team would make a desperation trade, it backfired horribly. Now, they’ll either need to ride out Rosen’s deal, trade him for less, or wait and see if an injury leads to a team trying to land a quarterback, even a relatively unproven one.
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