In the Arizona Republic the other day, Kent Somers opined that if Steve Keim really meant he hadn’t decided on what to do with the #1 pick in this week’s NFL Draft, then it was cry for help.
In short order, Somers offered his advice: (1) Stick with Josh Rosen; (2) Try to trade down within the top 10 to add more picks; (3) or take DE Nick Bosa or DT Quinnen Williams at #1.
For the sake of some added context---let’s go back a few months and trace Kent Somers’ op-eds on Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury.
In late December, Somers staunch advocated for the Cardinals’ firing of Steve Wilks, but he strongly felt that Michael Bidwill should retain Steve Keim as GM.
Maybe Michael Bidwill was listening, because Wilks was made the chief scapegoat and Keim was lauded by Bidwill for his overall record as GM.
Less than a month later, Kent Somers tweeted his incredulity and utter displeasure when it was announced that the Cardinals were interested in interviewing Kliff Kingsbury for the head coaching vacancy. Then, when Kingsbury was hired---a decision that Steve Keim played a significant part in---Somers issued a harsh critique of the move.
Somers’ disapproval of the the Kingsbury hire is an important context, because it should come as no surprise that today (April 20th) Somers’ advice to Steve Keim is bascially not to listen to Kliff Kingsbury.
The selection of Kyler Murray at #1 is as simple as this---if Kliff Kingsbury and Tom Clements concur that Kyler Murray gives them a better to succeed than Josh Rosen, then that’s all anyone needs to hear, especially Steve Keim.
That is, unless you want Kliff Kingsbury to fail and if he fails, then Steve Keim’s days as an NFL GM will be over for good. Not sure even Somers can help him this time.
Keim hired Kingsbury. Keim’s NFL future is linked now to Kingsbury---just as Kingsbury’s should be to Kyler Murray, not Josh Rosen.
Kent Somers predicts that Kyler Murray will likely become a good QB in the NFL if he doesn’t go running back to baseball after getting injured. But, he insists Murray is no Mayfield, Luck, Manning or Mahomes.
But, Kyler Murray matched and even in some ways exceeded Baker Mayfield’s Heisman winning numbers in 2017. It could be argued that because Mayfield is not especially swift of foot, he actually may be more likely to incur injury than Murray, who is an escape artist in avoiding tackles.
Moreover, in terms of evenly distributing the ball, Kyler Murray helped 4 of his playmakers exceed1,000 scrimmage yards + double digits in TDs. That is a remarkable achievement, one of which Kurt Warner would especially approve. Add to that, Murray gained over 1,000 yards rushing and double digit rushing TDs himself. He directly resulted in 54 TDs.
Somers says that he watched nearly every one of Murray’s snaps at Oklahoma last year and is said to be an avid Sooner fan, which makes it very surprising that he didn’t recognize Murray’s superior passing and running skills to Rosen’s.
Kingsbury preaches creativity when plays break down---which is an art for Murray and a bane thus far for Rosen in college and in his first year in the NFL.
As for Somers’ advice to move out of the #1 pick and trade down, that would be the classic old Cardinals’ passive aggressive “get rid of the hot potato” move---coming ironically in a year when they finally added Terrell T-Sizzle Suggs to their roster, after the Cardinals decided in Suggs’ draft year to pass on him in order to trade down for WR Brant Johnson and DE Calvin Pace instead, in what turned out to be one the Cardinals most egregious draft gaffes.
Like Kent Somers said in his article, it’s hard to imagine that the Cardinals don’t know yet who they are picking because they have been on the clock since December 30th.
This draft can be owned by the Arizona Cardinals. They can bask in the limelight. To trade the pick out and have another team celebrate the joy and excitement of drafting Kyler Murray would cast yet another shadow on the Cardinals deepening stigma of irrelevance.
Lastly, Steve Keim devoted the draft in 2018 to helping Mike McCoy be a hit as offensive coordinator, at the expense of ignoring key holes on the team’s defense, created by the loss of Tyrann Mathieu and numerous free agents the past few years. Only one defensive player was drafted and he couldn’t even make the team. What kind of help was that for a rookie defensive minded head coach?
By passing on Kyler Murray, a player who comes in with a mastery of the key principles and nuances of Kingsbury’s offense, would be akin to tying one hand behind Kingsbury’s back.
Maybe Somers wants to be proven right that the Cardinals’ hiring of Kliff Kingsbury was an inane, colossal mistake.
I frequently enjoy reading Kent Somers’ articles which is one of the main reasons why I subscribe to the Arizona Republic. But, I wish he could be more on board with the Cardinals doing everything in their power to help Kingsbury (and his swift tempo, high scoring) offense succeed.