The Arizona Cardinals had the worst record in the NFL in 2018 going 3-13, their poorest season since 2000. The one plus side for fans of the NFC West franchise was that left them with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and put them in a position to be able to select the Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.
After analyzing all of the quarterbacks in the 2019 draft, including Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins, and Drew Lock, Arizona felt the former baseball player was the best choice to help lead them back to success in the future.
There’s only one hour before the NFL draft starts and the Arizona Cardinals are on the clock!
If they take Kyler Murray, they will join the 1982-83 Baltimore Colts as the only teams in the Common Draft Era to pick a QB in the 1st round in back-to-back drafts. pic.twitter.com/4COLd91FI5
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 25, 2019
Murray had a standout season with Oklahoma in college football where he threw 42 touchdowns. The college team, who have American football odds of 14/1 to win the National Championship next season, are developing a reputation of producing top-class quarterbacks who can walk into the NFL; Baker Mayfield also played with the Sooners before going first overall in the 2018 draft.
Although he will not be the tallest quarterback in the league this season, the Cardinals have clearly seen the success Mayfield has had and realized a below-average-height QB can still get the job done with the right arm and quality outside of the pocket.
New Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is going to start Murray from week one, and therefore the first overall pick will not have the luxury of working his way into the NFL like some rookies will be afforded season. Kingsbury is going to rely on Murray’s arm to help them win games in 2019.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 13, 2019
The evergreen Larry Fitzgerald was the Cardinals’ leading receiver last year with six touchdowns and 734 receiving yards. He is the player who is likely to pick up the most receptions once again next season and someone Murray can rely on.
Given they both came from Oklahoma, at the end of 2019, Murray’s numbers are sure to be compared to Mayfield’s. The Browns QB scored 27 touchdowns, which beat the previous best by a rookie held by both Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.
Bookmakers Give Arizona Little Hope of Success
The bookmakers don’t give Murray and Arizona much hope of a fairytale season in 2019 as they rate their chances of winning the Super Bowl at +8000, with the New England Patriots the +700 favorites to defend their crown in Florida in February.
Arizona is as big as +2500 to win the NFC West for the time since 2015. They are going to need to overcome last year’s winners Los Angeles Rams, who fell just short in the Super Bowl, losing 13-3 to New England. The Rams, with the likes of Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Brandin Cooks, are expected to challenge for the Vince Lombardi Trophy once again this season.
In the total number of wins market for the Cardinals, the bookmakers have set the mark at 5.5, therefore, they expect an improvement on last year’s abysmal record, but not by too much. Murray is sure to excite Cardinals and NFL fans in his opening season but too much shouldn’t be expected from the former Heisman Trophy winner as it may just take a few more years in Arizona before they are challenging again.