Goodbye Josh Rosen? New Arizona Cardinals Coach Could Give Up On Quarterback

Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen.
Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images

The conventional wisdom in recent months on the topic of the 2019 NFL Draft has been that it was unlikely that many quarterbacks will go at the top of the draft. The teams with the first and third picks, the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets, respectively, both drafted quarterbacks in the first round last year. The team with the second pick, the San Francisco 49ers, made a trade around the same time for a franchise quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.

SB Nation‘s current mock draft has three defensive players — Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen, and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, going as the top three picks to the Cardinals, 49ers and Jets, respectively. The top quarterback, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, lands with the New York Giants on the sixth pick.

However, a report came through on Thursday speculating that things might go differently — and that the Cardinals may take a quarterback after all.

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, appearing on the network’s Get Up morning show on Thursday, said that it’s “not implausible” that the Cardinals could take Ohio State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray with the top overall pick. Schefter suggested that the Cardinals could then trade last year’s first round pick, Josh Rosen.

“This is all so new, and all so fresh,” Schefter said. “But the one thing about the NFL is that quarterbacks are currency. And I can tell you this — that last year, when the Cleveland Browns had the first and fourth overall picks, at one point they considered taking quarterbacks at one and four, and then auctioning off one of the quarterbacks that they liked less. So if you’re the Arizona Cardinals, and you like Kyler Murray that much, it’s hard to imagine him going No. 1 overall, but maybe there’s a scenario where you get him, and then you auction off Josh Rosen.”

Schefter, while not reporting that such a deal was in the works, did say that “it’s not implausible” that such a scenario could take place.

Kliff Kingsbury, who was named the Cardinals’ new head coach earlier this week, had said last year that he would “take him with the first pick in the draft if I could.” Kingsbury was the head coach of Texas Tech at the time, and clearly had no idea he’d be coaching an NFL team that had the top pick.

Murray also plays baseball, and had been expected to pursue a baseball career with the Oakland Athletics. But the team now expects Murray to declare for the NFL Draft instead, ESPN reported.

Rosen, in his rookie year for the Cardinals, played 14 games — throwing for 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.