If you don’t know much about Joel Klatt, the Fox Sports college football analyst, Klatt was a walk-on QB at the University of Colorado in 2002, who won the full-time starting job his sophomore year and then went on to set 19 school passing records.
These days he is becoming one of the most popular and highly sought after draft pundits. For example, he has become one of Colin Cowherd’s most popular guests on The Herd, especially in the weeks before the NFL Draft.
Joel Klatt has an excellent and intuitive understanding of QBs. Watch what he had to say about last year’s QBs (Rosen, Mayfield and Darnold) prior to last year’s draft. Pretty much everything he had to say was right on the money:
In retrospect, Klatt did a good job summarizing why some teams were having some difficulty assessing Josh Rosen’ personality and outlooks on football. It also appears that Klatt was right on the money about Baker Mayfield, at a time when no one would have thought Mayfield would go #1 to the Browns. Klatt shocked a skeptical Cowherd by claiming that Mayfield’s ceiling could be that of Drew Brees.
This year, Joel Klatt rates Kyler Murray as the #1 QB in the draft and in this recent interview with Cowherd he makes a salient point about NFL buildings that are split on their QB. He explains what good jobs Sean McVay and Matt Nagy have done in trying to unite their building in favor of Jared Goff and Mitchell Trubisky respectively.
Klatt correctly identifies how the Cardinals’ building is split on Josh Rosen. For those who don’t believe this—-trust in Klatt—-while I am not at the liberty of revealing my own sources, what Klatt is saying is true.
However, what the Cardinals have, which the Rams and the Bears did not, is the 1st pick in the NFL Draft and, and with it, the opportunity to draft a more exciting, stronger fit at QB.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, that if the Rams or the Bears were given the opportunity to draft Kyler Murray this year, they both would rush his name to the podium.
And here’s the gist—-it’s not that Jared Goff, Mitchell Trubisky and Josh Rosen are bad choices at QB—-it’s that Kyler Murray is more multi-talented and potentially more dynamic.
Furthermore, I do not think it would be out of the realm of possibility if Murray is not taken #1 by the Cardinals or a trading partner, that Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers would make the pick. While no one has serious doubts about Jimmy Garoppolo’s talent, the fact that he’s incurred injuries in his last two starting stints at New England and San Francisco, elicits a question mark. Plus, let’s face it, Murray can do some things with the football that Jimmy G cannot.
The 49ers could take Murray and put Jimmy G on the trading block. And they would likely get very good value in return and the dead cap money on him is only $13M. They could also spend the next 5 years reaping the benefits of Murray’s rookie salary.
Last year, Joel Klatt understood why the Browns took Baker Mayfield at #1, because Mayfield led the NCAA in passing efficiency two years in a row.
This year, Klatt understands why the Cardinals would take Kyler Murray at #1. As Klatt asserts, not only is Kyler Murray’s skill set unique, his propensity to convert 1st downs, especially on 3rd and longs, and in leading scoring drives when his team was down 7 points or more was in both cases ranked #1 in the NCAA.
Klatt concludes that Josh Rosen, in his opinion, would be the #2 rated QB in the 2019 draft, which ironically might have happened back when Rosen was contemplating staying at UCLA for his senior year because he did not want to be taken by the Cleveland Browns. Klatt believes that the Cardinals are likely to receive strong trade interest in Josh Rosen.
The analysts at PFF concur with Joel Klatt. This weekend PFF moved Kyler Murray to #1 on their draft board. Here is the video:
For those of you who are adamant that the Cardinals should stick with Josh Rosen and not draft Kyler Murray, nothing and no one is going to convince you otherwise. And that’s fine. That is what makes this such a compelling debate. As Kliff Kingsbury says, “the beauty of a QB is in the eye of the beholder.”
No QB is completely flawless or a sure-fire guarantee to be great. But some QBs do more to excite, breed confidence and unite buildings than others.