Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Draft Week is Upon Us!

                It’s time for the NFL draft and once again we have no idea who will go number one overall. Anyone who tells you they do know is either trying to fool you into thinking they have the inside scoop, or just fooling themselves. It’s impossible to know what Arizona is going to do because as usual, their leadership doesn't know.

                If I were the Cardinals general manager it would be an easy decision to draft Nick Bosa. However, because I am not, they are in an impossible position. GM Steve Keim and their decision makers have allowed that team to become a laughing stock of the league. In 2015 the Cardinals looked like they were set up with a top-notch defense and balanced offense to be Super Bowl contenders for years to come. The problem is they forgot about the second most important position group in the game. In 2015 they had Carson Palmer, a capable veteran with leadership skills at the most important position on the field. Keim’s inability to put a competent Offensive line in front of him led to multiple injuries for Palmer resulting in one of the most talented defenses in the NFL not being able to showcase that talent in the playoffs in 2016 or 17 and the golden years of one of the best wide receivers of all time being wasted. Now going into 2019 they still have the best defensive back in the league in Patrick Peterson but the defense around him has been mostly dismantled and he isn't happy.

                In last year’s draft, they smartly gave up some assets to go get a Player with potential to be their next franchise leader, Josh Rosen. Then they even seemed to be heading in the right direction using their third and seventh round picks on offensive linemen. The problem is two rookies who are available that late in the draft aren’t going to completely remake a unit of five who have been incompetent for years. So, after suffering through another season of loosing with one of the worst lines in the league in 2018 the decision was made to hire a new head coach. Keim and crew promptly went out and hired a coach who has a resume that is questionable at best and doesn’t appear to match styles with Rosen in any way, making the smart moves in last year’s draft null and void.

                Now with the #1 overall pick, Arizona’s best move is to start over again at QB. The only way to make their new coach successful is to trade the player who cost them the 15th overall pick, a third-round pick, and a fifth-round pick to whichever team gives them the best offer, then draft undersized QB, Kyler Murray, just to fit coach Kliff Kingsbury’s style. The problem is every other team in the league watched Rosen struggle behind that awful offensive line last year so his value has plummeted. At this point, it does not appear they will be receiving anything close to what they gave up to get the QB.

                Rumor has been that Arizona was offered a second-round pick in exchange for Rosen from multiple teams. Hopefully for their sake, one of the teams who are desperate for a savior will recognize that Rosen has far more potential than anybody in this year’s draft class and come with a first-round pick offer on draft day. I expect first round offers from Washington (15th) and the New York Giants (17th) but given the lack of judgment the leadership of those two teams have each shown in the past, I won’t be holding my breath. If they don’t pull the trigger, teams such as Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Miami, Tennessee, or possibly the LA Chargers should be looking for a way to get Rosen. Each of these teams should be on the search for a quarterback, but whether they are or not remains to be seen. Jameis Winston has proven he’s not ready to be a leader. Andy Dalton has been carried to mediocrity by A.J. Green before going backward in Cincinnati the last couple years. Ryan Fatzmagic (Fitzpatrick) has shown his ability to amazingly disappear every time he’s given the starting job. Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill are essentially the same QB which means the Titans will be starting Logan Woodside by week nine as the top two on the depth chart watch from the sideline with injury. As a last resort, at number 28 overall, the Chargers who have a reliable QB would be crazy not to be expecting Philip Rivers to retire in the next few years, after all, he will be eligible for Medicare soon.

                To make a long story short, I do expect Kyler Murray to go number one overall, but only because the Arizona Cardinals have put themselves in an unwinnable situation by neglecting the offensive line for years and hiring the wrong head coach leaving them with no choice but to try to get it all back on track with a mobile quarterback.

(Follow me on twitter @Jake_Ruch for updates on when I post new articles on my blog and tweets on my real-time sports-related thoughts.)

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