Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press
The Arizona Cardinals are not fooling anyone by saying they do not know where the organization stands with the first overall pick.
"We are not done with this process," general manager Steve Keim said, via the Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith. "We have a number of players, in my opinion, and our scouts opinion and our coaching staff's opinion that warrants being the first overall selection."
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is the right choice. Every other option is wrong, because an organization does not pass a projected franchise signal-caller if the position is not settled. And the position is not settled in Arizona despite Josh Rosen being last year's 1
To Keim's point, yes, a number of players are worthy of consideration. Ohio State's Nick Bosa, Alabama's Quinnen Williams and Kentucky's Josh Allen are potential defense cornerstones. The Cardinals scheduled visits to Bosa and Williams, according to the NFL Network Tom Pelissero .
Of course, the team met Murray and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, last week, via ESPN's Adam Schefter . The cardinals have already been sold by the reigning Heisman Trophy winner as the first general pick and ready to negotiate. The general manager called the report "false," in Darren Urban of the team's official site.
"The fact that I do not know what we're doing but everyone else does? That's about," Keim said, during Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' site.
Keim may not know who will sit on the Iron Throne once Game of Thrones comes to an end, but he certainly has an inkling of what he plans to do with the first selection The gamesmanship is unnecessary. Other organizations already have an idea of what Arizona is doing, especially after Murray canceled a prevarcast visit this week to the Washington Redskins, via the NFL Network's Steve Wyche .
A year ago, quarterback Baker Mayfield famously told his agent, "I'm not going later than [the fifth overall pick]."
The Cleveland Browns made Mayfield the first pick in the 2018 draft.
Richard Rodriguez / Getty Images
Washington now owns the 15th overall pick, and Murray is arguably the draft class's top talent. His rise runs parallel to the one Mayfield experienced. Oklahoma quarterback was seen as the No. 1 overall pick during the season despite the Heisman Trophy-winning seasons. Both of them are considered outliers because of their size. However, evaluators could not deny their skill sets after closer inspection.
Public perception Did not necessarily reflect the team-by-team realities – which is exactly why it's easy to call Keim out for his earlier falsehood. Browns general manager John Dorsey knew exactly who he wanted with the first general pick six months Before Cleveland made his selection.
"On the record, he knew in October," The MMQB's Albert Breer said during an appearance on 92.3 The Fan's Bull and Fox (v ia WKYC's Matthew Florjancic). "He knew in October that Baker Mayfield was going to be the best player in the next year's draft, which is interesting to me, because I do not think there was a ton of people who saw him that way.
" I think A lot of people still looked at him with curiosity, "Is this guy a product of the Oklahoma system and the air raid? Is he too short? ' All those questions were there, and I just thought it was interesting, because Dorsey had so much conviction on the guy, and obviously we now see that conviction was pretty well-founded. "
Of course, the situation is slightly different, because "Kyler is a freak," the former Texas Tech coach said six months ago through KAMC's "Kyler is a freak," the former Texas Tech coach said six months ago, Eric Kelly . "… I just think of the world of him and what he can do in the football field.
"I've never seen him have a bad outing. Not one. Which, at quarterback, it's impossible to do, but he's done it. I'd take him with the first pick of the draft if I could."
Brad Tollefson / Associated Press
Keim could not have been sold for the two-star star that was early in the process, because he had no way of knowing Kingsbury would become the next major coach after only one year of Steve Wilks In addition, Murray did not make his intention to concentrate on football clear until February .
But the idea a general manager does not know what he plans to do a week before the draft even as he weighs all options is nonsense. Keim should listen to other franchises interested in the top pick. That's part of the job. However, there is no offer that could sway a team from acquiring a landscape-shifting quarterback prospect.
Murray is deserving of the selection, too. His standing is not simply based on Kingsbury's wishes and scheme fit. This is not a case where a team falls in love with a prospect and overdraft it. Murray is the complete package, even if he's smaller than ideal.
The 5'10 ", 207-pound signal-caller delivers the football accurately to all three levels of the field, consistently works beyond its first read and excels from the pocket.
The first-team All-American finished First in the draft class with a 96.6 quarterback rating on passes 10-yards yards downfield, over Pro Football Focus . His accuracy has actually increased from 59.8 percent to open 10-plus-yard throws to 61.4 percent for open 20 According to Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson the 1,000-yard rusher finished first overall. in the nation with 12.3 yards per pass attempt and 13.8.6 quarterback rating when working from the pocket. His adjusted completion percentage is 75.7 ranked seventh overall.
Like any quarterback under 6'4 ", Murray must find throwing tracks. At Oklahoma, he played behind a massive front with four blockers expected to be drafted next weekend. Defenders have batted only five of Murray's passes, which are tied for the least among the top four quarterback prospects in NFL Research .
Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press
Scheme is less than a successor to Mayfield's experiences as a rookie and Kingsbury background as an air raid disciple. Even so, Murray received a 90 grade for his passing from PFF when he worked beyond his initial reads. The undersized gunslinger displays an innate feel for working the pocket and creating downfield opportunities.
Once his raw throwing ability and dynamism as a runner are factored into the equation, everything points towards Murray being an elite talent, even if the Cardinals did not sit atop the draft order.
But they do.
An argument can be made Arizona lacks a quality roster and should not waste another premium pick on a quarterback prospect. Rosen struggled mightily as a rookie because he did not have the talent around him to make his life easier, but this does not apply to Murray because he's not just a distributor; He is a playmaker in both phases.
Also, the Cardinals are approaching the offseason aggressively, adding right tackles by Marcus Gilbert, guard J.R. Sweezy, tight end Charles Clay and wide receivers Kevin White and Damiere Byrd along with a slew of defensive free agents. The roster, as a whole, is much improved.
Months of preparation does not disappear once the team is on the clock. Arizona is already sold to Murray as its future franchise quarterback.
"I've heard from the combine, resolutely, staunchly, that they are all in by Kyler Murray," CBS Sports " Jason La Canfora reported earlier this week.
Murray does not come up short in any meaningful area, which makes him the absolute best choice for the Cardinals, even if they're not willing to admit it publicly … yet.