Mel Kiper 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Kyler Murray to Cardinals in Guru's Final Picks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2019

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 29:  Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners scrambles with the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In his final mock draft before the first round of the 2019 NFL draft on Thursday, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. held firm in predicting that quarterback Kyler Murray will go first overall to the Arizona Cardinals. 

Kiper doubled down on his assertion that there is a "99.9 percent" chance Arizona will select the reigning Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma.

Also, Kiper remained steadfast in mocking defensive end Nick Bosa to the San Francisco 49ers with the second pick.

Murray has been linked to Arizona throughout the draft process for several reasons. He and the Cardinals have reportedly had multiple meetings, plus Murray and Cards head coach Kliff Kingsbury have the same agent.

Additionally, Kingsbury said back in October when he was still the head coach at Texas Tech that he would take Murray if he had the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft:

Murray is a dual-threat quarterback with explosive athleticism and precision accuracy who seems like a perfect fit within Kingsbury's offense. Meanwhile, Kingsbury has no real connection to 2018 No. 10 overall pick Josh Rosen since he wasn't with the organization when Rosen was drafted.

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If Arizona takes Murray on the heels of a 3-13 season, it will at least be far more entertaining in 2019 with Murray, running back David Johnson, future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and second-year wideout Christian Kirk running the show on offense.

While the Cardinals may look to improve offensively, the NFC West rival 49ers are in great position to beef up their defense.

San Francisco may have the pick of the litter on the defensive side of the ball at No. 2. Bosa, Alabama's Quinnen Williams and Kentucky's Josh Allen are all realistic options at that spot.

Kiper called Bosa the "top-ranked prospect" in the 2019 class, so it would be hard for the Niners to go wrong by taking him.

San Francisco struggled to get consistent pressure off the edge last season. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner led the team with 12 sacks but nobody else had more than 5.5.

The 49ers already acquired Pro Bowl pass-rusher Dee Ford in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, and pairing him with Bosa could give San Francisco one of the NFL's most fearsome edge combinations.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller agreed with Kiper's first two picks in his final mock, as he also has Murray going to Arizona and Bosa going to San Francisco.

Arizona will officially be on the clock Thursday night when the NFL draft begins at 8 p.m. ET in Nashville, Tennessee.