I'm a sucker for sports history. I love the moment. The Catch. The Miracle on Ice. Cubs win the World Series. Kyler Murray steps on the scale.
Or at least it felt that way on Thursday morning.
Jokes aside, Murray's measurements at the NFL Scouting Combine were indeed quite noteworthy. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner checked in at 5-foot-10 1/8 and 207 pounds with 9 1/2-inch hands. All three marks were higher than most anticipated. (I expected Murray to be 5-9, having stood next to him in our CBS Sports Network studios for an interview. I thought we were the same height and weight. I'm between 5-9 and 5-10 -- depending on how much wax I put in my hair -- and weigh 185. But enough storytime.) Murray's measurements instantly became the draft story of the day. It didn't hurt, of course, that everyone was already thinking about the Oklahoma product, especially after Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim's press conference on Wednesday. Asked about the team's potential of selecting Murray No. 1 overall, Keim gave a predictably vague answer.
"It's still early in the process," Keim said. "We haven't gone through our full evaluation at all the positions, so really it's, again, too early to say."
Pressed further about the organizational plan around Josh Rosen, though, the Cards GM provided instant headline fuel:
Right now. RIGHT. NOW. RIGHT NOW!*RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!* Bold! All caps! Italics! (Do I have any more functions to use?) With those two words, Keim set Twitter ablaze. And now ...
It's all happening! Kyler's taller than people thought! Keim's acting dodgy about Rosen's future with the team! Kliff Kingsbury once said he would take Murray with the first overall pick, and now he's the coach of the Cardinals, and Murray is there for the taking and taller than we thought! Holy cow, I'm going to collapse from all of the excitement! Kyler in Cardinal red!!!
Or not. Regardless of what the tea leaves are telling you, I have something to say:
Steve Keim knew exactly what he was doing in uttering those two magical words -- "right now" -- but was he bluffing? In reality, is there a "For Sale" sign on the No. 1 spot? Is this all a ruse to drive up the pick's price tag, part of the plan that began when Arizona boldly plucked Kingsbury away from USC?
When Kingsbury was hired, I called it a logical boom-or-bust move. He's an offensive guru with a system that scores points in bunches. Sean McVay and Bill Belichick really respect him -- as do many other NFL folks. And he was brought in to maximize Rosen. Back when Kingsbury was hired, Murray was still under contract with the Oakland A's. The comments about taking Murray No. 1 overall? Those came last October, when the coach was talking up an opponent before a college game. Nobody blinked. Nobody cared. It was hyperbole. It was par for the course. And now, it's irrelevant, out of place and out of whack. Kingsbury took the Cardinals job thinking Rosen can be a star in his offense. And he will be.
I love all five quarterbacks who were scooped up in the first round of last year's draft. Not a sexy take, but I think that QB class will prove to be an epic one. Rosen's production clearly ranked fifth among the quintet in 2018, but you cannot write him off. Mike McCoy was a horrendous offensive coordinator -- one year after a midseason firing in Denver, McCoy didn't even make it to Halloween in his first season with the Cards. McCoy, someone I can't see calling plays ever again in the NFL, neutered David Johnson, who should've been the rookie quarterback's best friend. Steve Wilks stumbled mightily though his first and only season as the head coach. The Cardinals' offensive line hardly resembled the Redskins of the 1980s. And yes, Rosen himself had his ups and downs. But look at what happened when Jared Goff went from Jeff Fisher to McVay. Or when Mitch Trubisky went from John Fox to Matt Nagy. This can happen with Rosen, who was the most natural thrower of the football in the 2018 quarterback class. Like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, Rosen can be great for the team that drafted him. He has the skill and the savvy. And in April, he can get plenty of help from the draft, where Arizona holds 11 picks, including three of the top 65.
This draft oozes defensive depth, and there are good choices on the offensive line, too. If Keim were to get a king's ransom for the top pick, Arizona could really stock up in some need areas. But what happens if the Cardinals can't trade out of the No. 1 spot? Well, Nick Bosa is the best player in the draft. So that probably wouldn't be a poor selection. Bosa told me on my SiriusXM Radio show that he would love to be a Cardinal and go No. 1. He should. Can you imagine Bosa and Chandler Jones rushing the passer, with the best pure corner in football (Patrick Peterson) on the back end? Not a bad start on defense, eh? Mix that with Kingsbury's offense and Rosen's growth and Johnson's re-emergence, and the Cardinals can turn it around quickly.
You see, when you're left with the top pick in the draft, you take the best player. I know. Logic. What you don't do is take the second-best quarterback.
Dwayne Haskins is the best quarterback in this draft. That's my opinion. That's the early take of many analysts I've interviewed, including NFL Network's Charles Davis, and of numerous executives I've talked to off air around the league. Haskins is a stud. He looks like Big Ben. And are we allowed to talk about Murray's ridiculous radio row tour at the Super Bowl? Not the best look. Are we allowed to talk about baseball? Do you think Murray's baseball agent, Scott Boras, texted him the numbers he just negotiated for Bryce Harper? Ya think all this might be a bit concerning for teams thinking of spending a premium pick on the guy?
If I'm a QB-needy team, I take Haskins. Spoiler alert: The Cardinals are not a QB-needy team. I repeat (for the umpteenth time): The Cardinals are not a QB-needy team. Keim brilliantly traded up for Rosen last year. Yeah, don't forget that: The Cardinals moved up from No. 15 to No. 10 in order to pounce on Rosen. They didn't just take a flyer on the UCLA product.
Look, I live in the buzz business on radio and TV. I'm smart enough not to rule anything out, especially in business. Kyler Murray equals ticket sales. He makes the Cardinals a trending topic. But can you imagine the domino effect of allowing the best player in the draft to slip right into the hands of the division rival 49ers at No. 2?
I understand the allure of dot-connecting when it comes to Murray and the team holding the No. 1 pick in the draft. But I really dig logic.
The Arizona Cardinals have their quarterback. They need to use all draft capital to support him, not replace him.
Kyler Murray to the Cards makes no sense -- right now, or at any other moment -- unless buzz overrides logic.