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COLUMN: Arizona Cardinals should trade out of No. 1 draft spot



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Former UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen, now a starter for the Arizona Cardinals, takes classes at University of California, Los Angeles. The 2019 NFL Draft begins Thursday. Tribune News Service Buy Photos

The 2019 NFL Draft gets underway Thursday, and with it comes plenty of drama and storylines.

Whose combine had them moving up the draft board and whose had them sliding down? Who will be the first quarterback taken? Could this be a record-setting year for number of defensive players taken in the first round? How many times will a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide hear their name called?

That all is part of the fun and drama that is the three day NFL draft. But, without a doubt, every year there is one storyline that everyone keeps their ears and eyes on. This year, it surrounds the Arizona Cardinals and what the team should do with the first overall draft pick.

Arizona finished the 2018 season with the worst record in the league, a measly 3-13. Because of this, it fired head coach Steve Wilks after just one season, replacing him with former Texas Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury, who went 35-40 in his six seasons at the helm for the Red Raiders. Kingsbury takes over a Cardinals team with holes basically everywhere, except one: quarterback.

Arizona selected quarterback Josh Rosen at No. 10 overall in last year’s draft with the hope that he’d be the star under center for years to come. However, throughout the offseason, it had been reported that Kingsbury was keen on drafting Oklahoma University star Kyler Murry, the 2018 Heisman trophy winner, a move that would leave Rosen in the dust.

That may not be the best idea. Murray is fast and flashy, but he barely stands at 5 feet, 10 inches. Playing for Oklahoma grants you many things, but most importantly it grants you the best offense in the Big 12 with some of the worst defenses in the country.

Rosen may not have the star power of Murray, but the Cardinals won three games with the former University of California, Los Angeles star under center and none without him. They finished dead last in the league in almost every major offensive and defensive category. While Kingsbury may not be a defensive guru, he did place Texas Tech in the top 25 of total FBS scoring offense in five of his six years, finishing second in 2015.

The Cardinals would be better off trading back in the draft, acquiring more picks to fill all the gaps they have on both sides of the ball and letting Josh Rosen develop as a professional quarterback. They could use another wide receiver as Larry Fitzgerald ages and creeps closer toward retirement. The team needs a whole new offensive and defensive line.

Arizona basically needs a new team, and Kyler Murray does not get them that. The Cardinals are in rebuild mode and need a leader to help them with that. That leader’s name is Josh Rosen.

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