The Cardinals insisted for weeks that they had not made up their mind about the first pick of the NFL draft before taking the player that everyone expected them to take last Thursday.
Kyler Murray is now the top quarterback in Arizona a year after the team traded up to take Josh Rosen in the first round and days after they traded Rosen to the Dolphins to make room for Murray at the top of the depth chart. It was no secret that Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was a Murray fan from his days at Texas Tech, but the man who made the pick insists that didn’t tip the scales.
General Manager Steve Keim told Peter King for Football Morning in America that Kingsbury never pounded his fist on the table for Murray and that he gave long thought to keeping Rosen before watching enough tape on Murray to find that he’s never “seen a guy who could throw like him and run like him.”
“When I closed my eyes and I visualized Kyler Murray running around State Farm Stadium in red and white, for whatever reason, all I saw was just fireworks, excitement, a must-see [environment] where fans have to go and show up and see this thing,” Keim said. “Him being the architect was a phenomenal fit for me. … I either visualize them or I just have bigger balls than my brains. I’m not scared to make a mistake. That could cost me my career but at the same time, to be great and to have success you gotta be willing to take chances — ones that you believe in.”
Keim’s made plenty of mistakes in Arizona and none of them have cost him his job to this point. If he’s right on Murray, he’ll likely be moving forward with even more job security in his pocket.