After an offseason in which the face of the franchise and other key pieces departed, I didn’t have a lot of optimism for success going into the 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks season. In comparison to other rosters, just in the division alone, my talent grade for the organization was middle of the road…exactly what my expectations for the season would be. I assumed a slow start, a battle to stay around the .500 mark through the summer and would consider it a successful season if that is where they finished up.
A month into the long grueling march through the 2019 campaign my eyes have been opened to the idea that mediocrity might not be the ceiling for these Diamondbacks, my season outlook has perked up at least a little. The reason for this newfound hope is, in my opinion, the consistent and cerebral approach to the game by of one of the most underrated Managers in baseball, Torey Lovullo. Never too high, never too low, I love Torey’s style and how he seems to connect with every player on the roster from top to bottom.
I should have seen this coming many years ago as a teammate of Torey’s on the 1995 Buffalo Bison, Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. In fact, whenever I see Torey, I joke with him that I had no idea I was sitting next to a baseball genius way back then. Little things stuck out in our conversations all that time ago, he always seemed to be thinking baseball, dissecting the game – while most seemed to be playing checkers he was ahead of the game, playing chess.
Now, as the leader of the Diamondbacks, he has taken them to the playoffs in year one (2017), spent the majority of last year in first place before the team ran out of steam down the stretch and they are off to a more than respectable start here in 2019. I often listen to fans criticize his on-field tactics and strategy and marvel at how nearsighted some of the comments are. My advice back to those naysayers is routinely, “you have no idea how good a job Torey is doing, not as easy as looks.” So, as we continue the long journey that is the MLB Season, sit back and enjoy the ride. I’m not sure where the Diamondbacks will end up at the end of 162 but I trust the man steering the ship.
Kyler Murray is the new face of the Arizona Cardinals without playing a down yet, and plays like this one against high powered Alabama make your eyes bulge out in wondering did you actually see what you just saw.
Murray is a very talented passer and even more dangerous runner, and expectations are high for his rescuing the Cardinals from pathetic land and delivering them to high powered territory.
Looking at the play below watch the pin point accuracy of this pass while on the run, it’s unbelievable.
One can determine a great player by how he or she responds to adversity in great big moments, and Murray in this game below is playing the Alabama Crimson Tide in a championship setting and down 21 points.
In his high school career he put on a show every night with his electric play making ability. The high school game below is also in a championship game against a high octane opponent and Kyler shines like no other and seems unshaken by the moment.
Quarterback Kyler Murray has won on the high school and college levels, and has done it in dominate fashion. Now he takes his talents to the top level in the NFL as he was taken number one overall in the 2019 NFL draft.
Lots of criticism because of his height and weight, but that didn’t stop the Arizona Cardinals from making him their franchise quarterback.
Make no mistake, Murray is a great passer as well as a dangerous runner, and may be a once in a life time transcending player to come in the league since the Mike Vick project.
Lots of Cardinals fans were upset at the pick, but local sports news anchor Bruce Cooper in an interview with KSRN’s Earl Burnett is serving notice on all of the nay-sayers that this kid will be special.
The NFL draft is only four short days away and after all the mock drafts have bored us to death , it’s finally time to start seeing this puzzle come together. Almost all of the analysts in the sports industry have gone away from the basic draft mentality of drafting best player on the board as opposed to need.
Everyone continuing to declare quarterback Kyler Murray from Oklahoma the number one player in the draft. Many of these guys at the beginning of projecting prospects didn’t even have Murray as the number one quarterback but now have declared him the best player on the board at number one for the Arizona Cardinals.
This is going to come down to one thing and one thing only, this pick will not be made based on fit or a scheme from a new college coach with a losing record. It should and will solely be based on the Cardinals believing that Kyler Murray is indeed the best player in the entire draft and is the closest to a sure thing at the next level.
If the draft goes according to the best player in the draft then it will look a little like this, and sorry to all the birdgang fans clamoring for Murray but the best thing to do is take the actual best player.
Round one : The Cardinals before and during the draft will get offers for current quarterback Josh Rosen, but the deals will not be worth passing up the opportunity to get the best player in the draft. With that the team will stay at number one and with the number overall pick in the 2019 draft the Arizona Cardinals select (long anticipatory pause) Nick Bolsa from the Ohio State University.
Love it or hate it, Bosa is indeed the best player in this years draft and also the closest thing to a sure thing as possible, yes this screws the draft all up and the circus will begin a lot earlier than usual.
Second round at the number 33 pick : With all the top offensive lineman off the board the Cards will probably look to fill that much needed wide receiver spot and according to the board around that time the best players left on the board are likely skill players. Three of the top wideouts will most likely be gone and leaving a choice between Ole Miss AJ Brown or home town ASU’s N’Keal Harry. The Cardinals do not need another slot guy and Brown is suited more as a slot guy and Harry could be the next good outside receiver for the Cardinals. Therefore with the 33rd pick they may take: N’Keal Harry from ASU. This move will be the best pick at the time and also will calm down the fanbase from the team not taking Kyler Murray.
The third round is Steve Keim’s best round according to past history, and there are many directions he could go here. The team will need to start building the offensive line but at the same time the team could also go for a young blocking tight end which they have been lacking for quite some time. So I believe the 3rd round pick at number 65 Tight end Dawson Knox from Mississippi.
103rd overall pick will most likely be for the o-line and at that time the best player on the board at o-line will be Nate Davis from Charlotte, has the body of an NFL guard with lots of power, and surprising at 6’3 313 has athleticism packed inside his sturdy frame.
The remaining picks we will wait and see but this mock is based on the Cardinals taking the best player on the board at the time of their selections.
Perhaps we will do another mock based on the Cardinals making a trade, but that one also does not have the Birds taking Kyler Murray at number one.
My hope is that the Oakland Raiders continue to deliberate and kick out scouts and argue until John Gruden convinces GM Mike Mayock to take Murray and trade Derek Carr. That scenario will leave the Cards with at least two first round picks at 4 and 24 or 27 in which they could ad another dynamic defensive player.
The mock drafts continue to have quarterback Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma as the consensus number one pick overall, and every one of these mock drafts have based it on the fit with Cardinals new Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury but not one says he is the clear cut best player in this years draft.
Most GM’s believe that drafting should be based on a team drafting the best talent on the board, and never for team need or fit. When a team takes a player number one overall they are declaring that player the best player in the entire draft, and the closet thing to a sure super star at the next level.
Drafting for need and fit has plagued the Arizona Cardinals in past drafts, which resulted in the leaving of better talent on the board that turned out to have very successful careers in the NFL.
Two guys that come to mind the Cardinals passed on are running back Adrian Peterson, and linebacker Terrell Suggs, two guys that were clearly better than who they chose in previous drafts, in fact two guys that will for sure be Hall-of-Famers when their done playing.
Lets be brutally honest, the draft in essence is and always will be a crap shoot making nothing a guarantee, but getting the closest thing to a sure thing as possible is the goal. After weighing the options, a quarterback will always be the biggest risk unless you are 100% sure its the next Peyton Manning.
Kyler Murray is a good prospect but not the next sure super star quarterback, because if he were, then he would have been deemed the best player in the entire draft at seasons end. But coming out of college he was not even the best quarterback prospect amongst this years group. So for a team that needs instant and drastic improvement it wouldn’t make sense to risk another first round pick on another top franchise quarterback prospect in back-to back drafts.
There’re are way to many things that have to be perfect for a quarterback to be successful, just ask Cardinals current signal caller Josh Rosen. In contrast, a pass rusher or interior defender only has one objective and that’s to beat the guy in front of him every game, which he has done all of his playing career from high school to college.
So why would the Cardinals waste the opportunity to choose the closet sure thing in the draft like Nick Bosa or Quinton Williams which could help in year one right away, and risk it all on a 5’10 quarterback that may leave questions about his durability to make it through a brutal 16 game NFL season.
My point is no matter what the round is or no matter what needs you have on the team you never draft according to need or fit because you leave the next big super star on the board every time.
Steve Keim has zero room to make decisions based on the hype, this team can be instantly better with Bosa or Williams in the mix with everything else they have done in free agency along with Josh Rosen with a year of experience under his belt, just makes more sense to me.