The demise of the Alliance of American Football took the spring fix away for football fans. Don’t worry, though, the NFL Draft is coming up and the three-day event will get plenty of eyeballs focused on it as fans look to see how their favorite club is taking shape. We’ve had enough of the mock drafts and projected selections, and on Thursday, April 25, we’ll finally find out where the best college football players from last season will end up. And along with the excitement of having your favorite NFL team change its fortunes with its draft class, fans can also wager on the event.
2019 NFL Draft
Round 1 – Thursday, April 25, 2019, 8 p.m. ET (NFL Network, ESPN, ABC)
Rounds 2-3 – Friday, April 26, 2019, 7 p.m. ET (NFL Network, ESPN, ABC)
Rounds 4-7 – Saturday, April 27, 2019, 12 p.m. ET (NFL Network, ESPN, ABC)
There is plenty of speculation as to who will be the first overall pick in the draft, and yes, fans can make a wager on who they think will take the honors. From all accounts and the thousands of mock drafts by the so-called experts, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray appears to be the favorite of the Arizona Cardinals. Murray adds an element that new coach Kliff Kingsbury likes, and Murray is better suited to run the offense than incumbent Josh Rosen.
If the Cards use the first pick on Murray that leaves them in the unusual spot of having two first-round selections in the last two years at the quarterback position, meaning last year’s 10th overall selection Josh Rosen is likely looking for work elsewhere. The Cards could get a nice return in a deal, though Rosen’s stock plummeted after he struggled behind a weak group. That awful showing cost Steve Wilks his job after just one season, opening the door for Kingsbury.
The draft rarely goes according to plan and there’s no guarantee the Cards take Murray with so many holes to fill and Rosen already in the mix. Sam Darnold was the negative odds favorite to be selected first overall last year and the Browns went with Baker Mayfield, who was +3300 at the time.
Arizona needs a lot of help and it actually makes sense for them to trade the No. 1 for a package of picks that could help them right now. Arizona has just the one selection in the first round and getting Murray isn’t going to make them a contender. We saw the Titans get a nice haul for the No. 1 pick back in 2016 with the Rams sending five picks in the first three rounds of that draft along with a first- and third-rounder in 2017.
And that brings us to the draft prop of where Rosen will be playing when the 2019 regular season opens. Surprisingly, the Cards are listed with the shortest odds, meaning oddsmakers like his chances of staying in the desert. And that’s with a number of teams looking for quarterback help, both immediately and a few years down the road, in a class that’s not nearly as bountiful at the position as it was last year.
Where Rosen ends up depends on what the Cards do with the No. 1 pick. Some sources are saying the team has changed its stance on Murray and the Heisman Trophy winner isn’t a guarantee to go first overall. We see it every year at this time, gamesmanship by GMs to angle for a better deal and not wanting to show their hand too early.
As much as Murray could help the Cards offense, he needs to be playing in order to do that. And we saw just how bad the Cards were up front last year. By all accounts, Rosen is much better than the numbers he posted with the NFL’s worst offense. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Cards passing on Murray, who has been on their radar since he declared. And Kingsbury has worked well with players of Murray’s skillset.
There are teams in immediate need of help at quarterback and Rosen is a trade chip the Cards will use. There is no reason to keep two first-round QBs on the roster so expect a trade on draft day. Rosen struggled in his debut NFL season, but let’s face it he didn’t have the best team in front of him.
Rosen would benefit from a year as understudy to Tom Brady in New England, Philip Rivers in Los Angeles and even Eli Manning in New York. The Redskins need a quarterback right now with the future of Alex Smith and Colt McCoy unknown after they both got injured last season. Another team needing a QB is Miami, whose rebuild will require a new signal caller after the Ryan Tannehill era came to an end.
Which Team Will Josh Rosen be on Week 1 of 2019 Regular Season
Arizona Cardinals +156
Washington Redskins +169
New York Giants +533
Los Angeles Chargers +1280
New England Patriots +2541
Cincinnati Bengals +5000
Field (Any Other Team) +204
The Giants have two first-round picks and three among the first 37 selections, giving them the necessary draft capital to swing a deal. Like I said, the QB class isn’t as rich and Rosen was a blue-chipper among the 2018 class. This is a move that could help both clubs with the Giants getting their Manning exit strategy in place.
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