The Cardinals could be baiting the Raiders into getting the first overall pick
The Cards could be baiting the Raiders into trading for the first overall pick
The Raiders could be plotting to trade up and get the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It won’t likely happen, but I wouldn’t discard the possibility either.
The Arizona Cardinals have said that last year’s first round pick Josh Rosen will be their starting quarterback of the future, but they could be getting ready to part ways with him.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury previously said that he would draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray if he had the opportunity. He does have that chance now as Arizona will pick first overall in the 2019 NFL Draft and putting height aside, Murray is one of the most talented prospects coming out of college. What if he’s using that old quote as a way to push the Raiders to trade up so they can draft Murray themselves (or even Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins) and receive a boatload of picks and even some players in return.
At this point, it isn’t known what Oakland’s intentions are, but head coach Jon Gruden has gone out of his way to praise former Raiders building blocks in he past, before trading them away. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him and the team trade quarterback Derek Carr or the fourth overall pick and a star player (center Rodney Hudson?) for the first overall pick.
The Cardinals would get a proven quarterback still in his prime, Carr will be 28 when the season starts, or any other player currently in Oakland’s roster that could solidify one of their many areas of needs.
To be honest though, neither team would benefit from the blockbuster trade on paper. If Arizona got Carr or traded the first overall pick with the intention of drafting a quarterback later in the first round, they would still have to unload Rosen, who would account for a cap hit of 14 million dollars in dead money even if he isn’t part of the organization anymore.
Also, Peter King of NBC reported that the most the Cardinals might fetch is a third round pick. Not the return Arizona would want for a player the franchise invested resources on as recently as last season.
On the other hand, if the Raiders got the first overall pick and selected Murray or even Haskins for a proven commodity such as Hudson or Carr, they would be creating an area of need where there isn’t one. Carr hasn’t been playing at a franchise level in the last couple of years, but Oakland has been devoid of talent and hasn’t given its quarterback appropriate weapons on offense nor a good defense that can keep a lead.
The Cards and the Raiders would lose this trade, but crazier things have happened in Draft day and when it comes to Gruden and Oakland, Raider Nation has gotten used to expecting the unexpected. This year won’t be any different.