The Arizona Cardinals will draft Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick next week. Right? Right?
Maybe not, NBC Sports' Peter King speculates.
The veteran NFL reporter dropped an interesting scenario in his “Football Morning in America” column Sunday night. After writing that he doesn’t believe Cardinals brass has unanimously decided whether it will use the No. 1 pick on Murray, trade down, or switch gears and select an edge rusher such as Nick Bosa, King asks this question: What if the Raiders came calling with a big package of pick to trade?
Hmm, let’s examine …
King wonders if Raiders coach Jon Gruden would offer two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 27) from this year’s draft and another first-rounder from next year’s draft for the No. 1 pick. That would give the Cardinals four first-round picks in the next two drafts -- an enticing proposition for a franchise with numerous holes.
Of course, if Murray landed in Silver and Black, that likely would mean the end of Derek Carr’s stay. King speculates that the Raiders could unload Carr to QB-needy teams such as the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants or Washington for a 2020 first-round pick. That also would save the Raiders $13 million per year, King notes, because of the difference between Murray’s and Carr’s contract.
While King is just laying out a scenario, he’s also coming from an informed place. So, if he’s hearing whispers that the Raiders really like Murray, maybe there’s more to this.
Of course, we all heard Raiders general manager Mike Mayock loud and clear last week, when, after saying the team believes Carr is a franchise QB, he added this: "We love Derek. We love what he brings to the table, but like every other position, we’re going to do all of our due diligence. I happen to work with a head coach that absolutely loves that position. We’re always going to know about those guys.”
Rooting against all this are the 49ers, who own the No. 2 pick. They could have the edge rusher of their choice -- Bosa, Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams -- if the Cardinals stand pat and draft Murray. On top of that, the 49ers would have the chance to harass a rookie QB twice next season, with the Cardinals also in the NFC West.
We’ll likely have to wait until April 25 to see what the Cardinals do, but if they decide to trade the No. 1 pick, it’d be quite the bombshell that could impact both Bay Area NFL teams.