The Cardinals selected QB Josh Rosen with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Normally, when a team uses a first-round draft pick on a quarterback, that means the team thinks he is going to be the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future. But heading into this year’s draft, there is a lot of speculation that the Cardinals may be looking to trade Rosen so they can select Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the first pick in the draft. Retired QB Brady Quinn, a former first-round pick and current Fox analyst, thinks Rosen is a better quarterback for Arizona than Murray. Let’s take a look at his reasons.
Rosen’s disappointing rookie season
The Cardinals had high hopes for Rosen when they made him the starter before their Week 4 contest against the Seahawks. He was 15-for-27 in that first start, throwing for 180 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t progress much during the season, and he never threw for more than 252 yards in any of his 13 starts. The disappointing season is further highlighted by the fact that he had more multiple-interception games than he had multiple-touchdown games.
Those bad numbers don’t all fall on Josh Rosen. Arizona allowed 52 sacks in 2018, tied for fifth-worst in the NFL, the receivers had the fewest yards in the league, and the 15 receiving touchdowns were the second-fewest.
Why Quinn thinks Rosen is a good fit with the Cardinals
After their 3-13 finish last season, the Cardinals decided to change head coaches and hired former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury to take the reins from Steve Wilks. Quinn believes that Josh Rosen is a better fit for Kingsbury’s offensive system than Kyler Murray. He told CBS Sports’ Will Brinson that Kingsbury’s “entire offense is based upon pocket passers. In fact, you can look at the entire Air Raid system and make the case that Josh Rosen is a better fit than Kyler Murray is.”
Quinn went on to say that he thinks both quarterbacks can “excel in the system,” but he believes “Josh Rosen is probably a little bit safer within the offense than Murray is, only because he’s got NFL experience so far.” He continued by saying that quarterbacks in NFL history generally have a skill set that is similar to Rosen’s than Murray’s.
Potential landing spots if the Cardinals trade Rosen
If the Cardinals do take Murray in the draft, they will undoubtedly trade Rosen because they’re not going to keep two first-round quarterbacks on the roster. The question becomes what teams may be interested in acquiring Rosen in a trade? We believe Rosen has several landing spots, but one of the better potential trade partners for Arizona is the Redskins. Washington doesn’t know when — or if — it will get Alex Smith back from the gruesome leg injury he suffered last season, and the team could start the season with a depth chart at the position that is led by perennial backup Colt McCoy and journeyman Case Keenum.
Another potential destination for Rosen is the Dolphins, who are in an even worse spot at quarterback than Washington. No. 1 on their depth chart is currently veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is with his eighth franchise and has been in the news lately for his noticeable weight gain.
When will we have a resolution to the Josh Rosen-or-Kyler Murray debate?
Soon. The 2019 NFL draft starts April 25 in Nashville. The Cardinals have the first pick, so we’ll know shortly after the draft starts what they have decided — and possibly earlier than that if they do in fact trade Rosen. Here are the three most likely scenarios for what the Cardinals may do with the No. 1 overall pick:
- Trade Rosen and take Murray at the top of the draft
- Keep Rosen and use the No. 1 pick on a player other than Murray
- Keep Rosen and trade the No. 1 pick to a quarterback-needy team who is interested in Murray and will give the Cardinals multiple picks, thus helping Arizona’s rebuilding efforts.