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Smoke and Mirrors time in the NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Oklahoma Pro Day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Looks like the Cardinals are doing a good job of making fans and pundits believe that they could be more interested in trading down or taking Bosa or Williams at #1. In his Monday PFT article today, Peter King writes of a trade scenario where the Raiders send the #4 and #24 2019 picks plus one of their two 2020 1st rounders to the Cardinals. King goes on to say that the Raiders could then flip QB Derek Carr to the Giants or Dolphins for a 20191st round pick.

But, in my opinion, the Raiders might get some trade competition at #1 from the New York Giants. Murray visited the Giants this week---the Giants were the first team that Murray expressed interest in at the NFL Combine (of course, they still had OBJ back then)---and I can still picture Pat Shurmur standing right behind Murray the whole time at Murray’s pro day. Therefore, I ask all of you, which would be a better deal---#4, #24 and 2020 1st from Raiders?---or #6, #17, 2020 1st from Giants?

Yes, Quinnen Williams might still be available at #4---but on many draft boards, including the one at ESPN, Williams appears to have taken over the #1 ranking. I am not convinced that Nick Bosa is a slam dunk at #2 to the 49ers.

Ergo, because I believe Williams will be off the board by #4, I am inclined to think that the Giants’ trade would give the Cardinals a more talented draft pick combination. A Giants’ trade for Murray might elate Tiger Woods’ caddie, Joe LaCava, who has an NY Giants sticker on his course yardage cover while he was wearing a Saquon Barkley t-shirt under his Masters’ caddy whites.

Honestly, it would be very difficult and depressing for me to watch the Raiders or the Giants or any other team revel in the excitement and buzz of picking Kyler Murray.

I think that on a national level, this would be about the most anti-climatic outcome of the draft for the Cardinals, who currently can own and dazzle this draft having the #1 pick and the 1st picks on Days 2 & 3.

I think that the fallout of passing on such a unique and fascinating talent as Kyler Murray would be yet another PR disaster for the Cardinals. America loves its Cinderella stories and the ruby slipper has fit on Murray ever since they day Kliff Kingsbury was hired as the Cardinals’ head coach and someone right away posted Kingsbury’s song of praise to Murray video.

While Josh Rosen remains a talented young QB, the contrast of the pre-draft Murray buzz to the pre-draft Rosen buzz from last year is hugely disparate. I am getting myself prepared to hear the “same old Cardinals” diatribes if and when Keim yields the buzz of the draft over to another team in the Cardinals’ most highly televised and heavily booed case of hot potato.

I firmly believe that if the Cardinals stay at #1 and draft Kyler Murray that they will become the new darlings of the NFL and maybe even usurp the Cowboys as America’s Team. Murray would change the national perception of the Cardinals the way Baker Mayfield has now helped to change the national perception of the Browns. Exciting young QBs do that for franchises, especially traditionally woeful ones.Ticket sales would skyrocket, Cardinals’ fans would be less inclined to sell their tickets to fans of their rivals, and suddenly come next spring, free agents would be more interested than ever in playing for the Cardinals.

I don’t know if any of you were thinking this yesterday when Tiger was hugging his son and daughter---but I kept thinking of how incredible it would feel to see the Cardinals win a Super Bowl (I think most of us would be running around gesticulating and screaming for joy the way Tiger was) ---and what a dream come true it would be to see Larry Fitzgerald in the aftermath of winning a Super Bowl or even another playoff game hugging his two boys, especially seeing how sad it was to learn that he was having trouble getting them interested in coming to games because the Cardinals were so excruciatingly bad. But, it gave me great joy to think of how Tiger’s triumph over time, setbacks and fate will inspire Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson to bring greatness back to Arizona this year.