Arizona Cardinals fans don’t want to think about Kyler Murray in another uniform ever, let alone this early into his career.
Well, too bad says ESPN, as it rolled out a full re-draft of the entire NFL.
In the format, ESPN’s 32 beat writers drafted four full rounds representing their respective teams. There were no salary cap ramifications and each team had to take a QB, non-QB offensive player and a defensive player, with the goal in mind of winning a Super Bowl within five years.
In no surprise given the value of quarterbacks in the league, Murray went in the first round. But what is a surprise is where Murray went among those quarterbacks.
Selected 17th by the Dallas Cowboys, Murray was the 13th quarterback off the board. Given what Murray showed as a rookie, along with his development trajectory and age, he would seem like a lock for the top-10.
ESPN’s Todd Archer pulled off that robbery and the outlet’s draft analysts, Mike Clay, had high praise, ranking the Cowboys as one of the best teams in the group.
Tier 1. Archer had to be shocked Murray was still on the board at 17th overall. I sure am.
Murray came off the board behind the likes of elder statesmen like Drew Brees (41 years old) and Tom Brady (42), along with far more unproven talent like Joe Burrow (no NFL snaps) and Drew Lock (yikes!).
The Brees selection, we should note, was made by the Cardinals themselves and ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss.
Weinfuss went with a win-now strategy, selecting two Cardinals in the process: pass rusher Chandler Jones (57th overall) and cornerback Patrick Peterson (121st). Wide receiver A.J. Green (72nd) rounded out the quartet.
The exercise certainly supports the case that Jones remains one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
In the last four years, Jones has 60 sacks, which is eight more than any other player, per Pro-Football-Reference. Even with that production and Jones still being only 30 years old, he was the seventh edge rusher selected.
As for other Cardinals to be selected in the process, newcomer DeAndre Hopkins went back to the Houston Texans in the first round at 26th overall while rookie Isaiah Simmons went 79th overall in the third round to the Denver Broncos.
The top five picks in the exercise were Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and Aaron Donald.