Draft Day is as close as Thursday.
The big issue is whether the Arizona Cardinals will make Kyler Murray the No. 1 pick in the draft, trade the pick or select another potential star.
There's no reason to think that the Cardinals won't select Murray first overall, with the main thought being they have a new offensive-minded head coach in Kliff Kingsbury. Since the team wants the head coach to be successful as he employs his attacking offensive philosophy, why not give him the player who gives him the best chance of making that game plan work.
Murray's brilliance as a passer and a runner will do just that.
2019 NFL Mock Draft
1. Arizona Cardinals: Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray
2. San Francisco 49ers: Ohio State DE Nick Bosa
3. New York Jets: Alabama DT Quinnen Williams
4. Oakland Raiders: Kentucky OLB-DE Josh Allen
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LSU LB Devin White
6. New York Giants: Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT-OG Jonah Williams
8. Detroit Lions: Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson
9. Buffalo Bills: Florida OT Jawaan Taylor
10. Denver Broncos: Missouri QB Drew Lock
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Oklahoma OT Cody Ford
12. Green Bay Packers: Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat
13. Miami Dolphins: Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf
14. Atlanta Falcons: Clemson DT Christian Wilkins
15. Washington Redskins – Houston DL Ed Oliver
16. Carolina Panthers: Washington State OT Andre Dillard
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns): Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell
18. Minnesota Vikings: Boston College OG Chris Lindstrom
19. Tennessee Titans: Iowa TE Noah Fant
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Michigan DE Rashan Gary
21. Seattle Seahawks: LSU CB Greedy Williams
22. Baltimore Ravens: Alabama RB Josh Jacobs
23. Houston Texans: Texas A&M C Erik McCoy
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears): Iowa State WR Hakeem Butler
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Florida State EDGE Brian Burns
26. Indianapolis Colts: Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys): Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Georgia CB DeAndre Baker
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints): Michigan LB Devin Bush
31. Los Angeles Rams: North Carolina State C-OG Garrett Bradbury
32. New England Patriots: Arizona State WR N'Keal Harry
The Case for Murray
Kingsbury is a creative and forward-thinking offensive innovator who will have a chance to realise his potential by designing plays and formations for Murray, who has the ability to do things other quarterbacks can't accomplish.
These two men were together at Texas Tech; Kingsbury was the head coach there, and he recruited Murray out of high school. The Cardinals head coach complimented the quarterback in October, saying he would make Murray the first pick in the draft.
Kingsbury has since tried to explain that remark. "Kyler is a tremendous player," Kingsbury said, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. "And I said that as being very complimentary before we played an opponent. I understand the soundbite, but like I said, there'll be a ton of scenarios that will come up before we get to the draft."
There are questions about Murray's lack of height, 5'10", because typical NFL quarterbacks are taller than 6'0". The answer to those questions usually starts with Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, who is the best quarterback who stands less than 6'0" in modern NFL history.
Murray has sensational arm talent, and when he throws from the pocket, he goes through his progressions and shows off accuracy and velocity to all levels.
When he is forced out of the pocket, he has shown the ability to understand the chaos on the field and knows exactly where to go in order to make a winning play, whether it is with his powerful arm or his quickness and speed.
Murray should be able to make one or two game-changing plays on an every-game basis. Whether that translates into victories for a 3-13 team remains in question, but the marriage between the Cardinals and Murray should happen.
The pressure is on general manager Steve Keim to figure out what to do with Josh Rosen, and a Draft Day trade would be ideal. However, if he doesn't get the right offer prior to or during the draft, he can bide his time through training camp when injuries and/or poor performances could make a potential trade partner more inclined to make a deal.
The Sack Masters Cometh
The San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders figure to go on a mini run by selecting effective pass-rushers with the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 selections.
Ohio State's Nick Bosa figures to go to the 49ers, as there was little doubt about how the Niners felt about him at the NFL combine.
The Niners have good size and strength up front, but they don't have the player who can fire off the edge like Bosa. He will give them the juice they are missing because of his quickness, functional strength and the kind of fluidity that allows him to string moves together.
Bosa played just three games last year after suffering a core muscle injury early in the season. He had 4.0 sacks last year after registering 8.5 sacks in 2017.
The Jets will be in a wonderful position to select Quinnen Williams, who is coming off a sensational year with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Williams had 71 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks during the 2018 season. His ability to get the edge on double-team blocks is all about quickness, and once he gets into the crease between the blockers, he uses his powerful hands to rid himself of them.
He also has shown the raw power to drive blockers into the quarterback. Williams looks like someone who can wreck game plans because of his quickness and power. He may not be another Aaron Donald at this point, but give him two years and he just might be.
Josh Allen stood out on his 2018 tape with the Kentucky Wildcats, and the Raiders have a huge need for pass-rush help. He had 88 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 17.0 sacks along with five forced fumbles a year ago.
Allen has wonderful size for an edge-rusher at 6'4" and 265 pounds, and he made a wonderful decision to return to school a year ago, as he added at least 20 pounds to his frame.
In addition to getting bigger last season, he showed improvement against counter moves and clearly has the kind of closing speed to cause havoc.
This is Mike Mayock's first draft as general manager of the Raiders, so going in a different direction would not be a shocker. But selecting Allen will make this team better, and he might be a safe pick for Oakland.
Belichick Takes a Wideout
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick clearly knows how to run a draft, as evidenced by the six Super Bowls his team has won during his tenure.
One thing Belichick does not do is draft a wide receiver with his first-round pick, although he did during his run with the Cleveland Browns.
Belichick does not have to follow the conventional drafting rules, and he can break his own pattern. The Patriots somehow managed to win the Super Bowl without a star at the wideout slot, but that is a position that clearly needs a major upgrade.
Arizona State's N'Keal Harry checks off the boxes. He has the size at 6'3" and 215 pounds, and he is a fine catch-and-run threat, even though he is not a classic burner. He caught 82 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017, and he followed that up with 73 and 1,088 last season.
Harry has the kind of strength that should make him a worthy selection for New England. He regularly wins the 50-50 ball with strong hands and his ability to use his body to take position away from the defender.
Quarterback Tom Brady needs some new blood at the WR position, and he could do far worse than Harry.