You have to take any rumor emanating from the NFL Scouting Combine with several large grains of salt, but one making the rounds Sunday night could have a tremendous impact on both the 49ers and the Raiders if proven to be true.
According to NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline, new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has been vocalizing his intentions for the first overall pick.
"Adding fuel to the (Kyler) Murray fire, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was telling people last night that it’s a 'done deal' the Cardinals will select the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback with the first pick of the draft," Pauline wrote. "Whether or not Kingsbury has the final say on the choice remains to be seen, but stay tuned."
The Cardinals, 49ers and Raiders hold the first, second and fourth selections in the draft, respectively, so if Arizona already has determined it intends to take Murray No. 1, that would drastically impact both Bay Area teams.
For one, it essentially would give San Francisco full control of the draft board and its pick of any player not named Murray in a draft loaded with impact defensive prospects.
From a Raiders perspective, Arizona predetermining its pick of Murray would eliminate one more piece of mystery as Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock develop their strategy for the first of their three first-round selections.
Additionally, if Murray goes first overall to the Cardinals, that would put both the 49ers and the Raiders in prime position to trade back for a massive haul from a QB-needy team.
Both San Francisco and Oakland already have their respective franchise quarterbacks in Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr, so Murray likely is not in consideration for either team. As such, Murray going first overall likely would be a major positive for both Bay Area franchises.
Still, though, where's the salt?
Among the most obvious reasons why one might doubt the sincerity of this rumor, the fact the Cardinals used their first-round pick last season on quarterback Josh Rosen has to be near the top of the list. Additionally, making their intentions known to the public this far in advance of the draft only would seem to worsen their negotiating position.
So, it's probably not true.
But if it is?
Both the 49ers and the Raiders should be smiling.