The speculation about the Cardinals and their plans of what they will do with their No. 1 overall draft pick – as noted by team president Michael Bidwill – doesn’t figure to slow over the next few months.
But in terms of the team potentially going after Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray instead of sticking with 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen, coach Kliff Kingsbury tried to quash such talk Tuesday.
“Our feelings toward Josh haven’t waned or changed,” Kingsbury said. “I get that we have the first pick and there are going to be a million scenarios, and over the next three months they are going to come up. But Josh is our guy.”
The Murray-Cardinals speculation has been partially fueled by an interview Kingsbury did during the college football season in which – as Texas Tech’s head coach – he said if he had the top pick in the NFL draft, he’d take Murray. The comments came in late October, the week leading into Texas Tech’s game against Murray and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Coincidentally, Kingsbury not only found himself with an NFL head coaching job a few months later, it happened to be with the Cardinals – who own the No. 1 pick.
“Kyler is a tremendous player, and I said that, being very complimentary before we played an opponent,” Kingsbury said. “I understand the sound bite. But like I said there will be a ton of scenarios before we come to the draft.”
Murray, who was a first-round pick of baseball’s Oakland A’s, announced Monday he was turning down a chance to play baseball for now (and eschewing more than $4 million of bonus money) to focus on the NFL and be drafted.
Rosen, the 10th pick overall in 2018, was the centerpiece of the Cardinals’ pitch during their coaching search. The team sought out a coach that would transform Rosen to be the team’s quarterback of the future.
“I do think that there’s a lot of things that we do, that we did at Texas Tech, that can be successful,” Kingsbury said at his introductory press conference last month. “Josh Rosen is incredibly talented, one of the most talented throwers you’ll see. A young player, obviously, that I’m excited to work with and develop. But as a pure thrower, it’s hard to find a guy that throws it better.”