Maybe he was just speaking broadly with cliches or a touch of an overstatement, but Kliff Kingsbury once said he’d take Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the draft.
And wouldn’t you know it, the new Arizona Cardinals head coach has his chance to do just that.
The Cardinals on Wednesday hired the former Texas Tech coach to take over, hoping he can sprinkle some of his offensive fairy dust on a team that finished dead last in the NFL in points and yards gained.
Kingsbury already has a highly drafted quarterback — Josh Rosen — in place, but a Kingsbury interview from October resurfaced Wednesday morning during which he raved about Murray, the University of Oklahoma quarterback who reportedly will enter the NFL draft despite being taken by the Oakland Athletics in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last year.
“Kyler is a freak,” Kingsbury told KLBK-TV in Lubbock, Texas, back in late October ahead of the Red Raiders’ clash with OU. “I’ve followed him since he was a sophomore in high school and just think the world of him and what he can do on a football field. I’ve never seen anyone better in high school and he’s starting to show it now at the college level. I don’t have enough good things to say about him. He’s phenomenal.”
Murray went out and helped the Sooners put up 51 on Kingsbury’s Texas Tech squad while throwing for 360 yards and three touchdowns while also running for 100 yards and a touchdown on the way to the Heisman Trophy.
” … I’ve never seen him have a poor outing, not one, which at quarterback, it’s impossible to do, but he’s done it. I’d take him with the first pick of the draft if I could. I know he’s signed up to play baseball, but he is a dominant football player, and I would take him with the first pick.”
Good news, Kliff: You have the first pick. And if we’re to believe ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cardinals could actually be open to trading Rosen — who they drafted 10th overall a year ago — in order to take Murray with the first overall pick in the draft.
That’s assuming they can convince Murray to leave baseball behind. Unless Murray really loves baseball, it seems like the best chance to cash in right away would be going to the NFL. Baseball might have better long-term value, but the glitz, glamour and money that come with being the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft might be too much to resist.
Kingsbury probably hopes so, at least.