Cardinals Contributing Writer: Frank Ciriello follow him on twitter!
With just a couple of weeks until the NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals are running out of time to decide what they are going to do with their number one pick. Could they already have a deal in place for their pick? Could they have a deal in place for quarterback Josh Rosen? Could they still be deciding what to do? Those questions are certainly up for debate, but whatever route they take, they have played their hand perfectly by not giving anyone a clue as to what they are going to do.
Personally, I have been sold on the idea of keeping the pick and taking Kyler Murray number one overall. The hiring of Kliff Kingsbury was an outside the box hire and I think in order to give him the best chance at being successful, you have to give him the quarterback that he feels can run his offense to its highest potential, and all signs point to the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner being that guy. While I do think it is early to give up on Josh Rosen and do think that he will ultimately be a good starting quarterback in the league, Murray’s ceiling and fit for Kingsbury’s offense is something that I do not think you can pass up on. After watching a quarterback like Russell Wilson terrorize the Cardinals over the last seven years and seeing what a quarterback with elite athleticism, tremendous accuracy, and a strong throwing arm can do for your offense, you must swing for the fences with this pick.
You never know what can happen in the NFL draft and in the event that GM Steven Keim does decide to trade down, here are my top 10 prospects.
1. Kyler Murray (Oklahoma, Quarterback)
• See Above
2. Nick Bosa (Ohio State, Defensive End)
• Said to be better than his brother Joey at this point in their careers by some, Nick is the best edge rusher in this draft class and you can never have enough pass rushers. With Terrell Suggs certainly not being apart of the long term plans, a tandem of Chandler Jones and Nick Bosa would strike fear in opposing offenses every week for years to come. His injury history does scare me, but he is my number two prospect.
3. Quinnen Williams (Alabama, Defensive Tackle)
• Defensive line is one of the position groups where the Cardinals do not have much depth at. I love the signing of Darius Philon and bringing back Rodney Gunter on a one year deal. Corey Peters has been solid ever since coming to Arizona. Outside of those three guys, there is not much there. Robert Nkemdiche is coming off of an torn ACL and has not proven himself on a consistent basis. Quinnen Williams would have an instant impact from day one.
4. Josh Allen (Kentucky, Outside Linebacker)
• Allen is not as good of a pass rusher as Bosa, but can certainly get to the quarterback in his own regard. He is a versatile player that creates pressure as well as hold his own coverage. He reminds a little bit of Haason Reddick but more polished coming out with better production.
5. Devin White (LSU, Inside Linebacker)
• The best inside linebacker in this draft class, Devin White reminds a lot of Deion Jones. He has great size and tremendous speed. By pairing White up with newly signed Jordan Hicks, you have your linebacker tandem for years to come. While I like Reddick a lot, the inconsistency is a little concerning and he has not lived up to his 13th overall selection as of yet.
6. Ed Oliver (Houston, Defensive Tackle)
• Oliver, the second best defensive tackle in this class in my eyes, saw his stock begin to drop due to an underwhelming 2018 season. I think he was in the similar situation that Jadeveon Clowney was in during his final year at South Carolina where he may have been playing just to get through the season and make it to the draft as he knew his prior seasons were enough to speak for itself. Oliver tested well and had crazy production at Houston. A lot of people want to compare him to Aaron Donald, but for Cardinals fans, I see some similarities to Darnell Dockett.
7. Christian Wilkins (Clemson, Defensive Tackle)
• One of the leaders on the National Champion Clemson Tigers, Wilkins would bring a toughness and motor to the retooled Cardinals defense. Wilkins would be a plug and play defensive lineman from day one that can create pressure up the middle allowing Jones and Suggs room to work with on the outside.
8. Jonah Williams (Alabama, Offensive Tackle)
• I love what the Cardinals have done to address the offensive line so far this offseason, and much like with pass rushers, you can never have enough quality offensive lineman. With four of the five starting offensive lineman ending the season on IR last year and the history of newly acquired tackle Marcus Gilbert struggling to stay on the field at times, taking the best offensive lineman in the draft would be a solid pick. I like his ability to play tackle as well as potentially guard if needed so I have him ranked higher than Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor.
9. Rashan Gary (Michigan, Defensive End)
• Gary, the 2016 number one overall recruit, had a disappointing 2018 season due to a shoulder injury, but still has the talent and tools to be a top 10 pick in this years draft. He is an extremely versatile defensive lineman that can play both end positions and be moved inside in some packages.
10. Byron Murphy (Washington, Cornerback)
• Murphy, an Arizona product who attended Saguaro High School, is the top cornerback in this years draft class. While he does not have elite speed, he has tremendous instincts and ball skills. With Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson and the signings of cornerbacks Robert Alford and Tramaine Brock, adding Murphy would give you arguably the best cornerback room in the league.
Comment below with how you want the Draft to shake out.