Arizona Cardinals new head coach Kliff Kingsbury clarified that second-year quarterback Josh Rosen “is our guy”, even though the Cardinals also have the number one pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft.
The Cardinals drafted Rosen, dubbed the “Chosen Rosen” during his collegiate days at UCLA, with the tenth pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Rosen came into the league with a chip on his shoulder. A couple of mock drafts saw him going high in the draft. On draft day, the Browns selected Baker Mayfield with the first pick. The New York Jets traded up and picked USC QB Sam Darnold with the third pick. Rosen fell to tenth.
In his first season with the Cardinals, Rosen played in 14 games. He threw 11 touchdowns, 2,278 yards, and 14 interceptions.
The Cardinals fired defensive-minded head coach Steve Wilks after only one season with the team. In the race to acquire the next Sean McVay, the Cardinals went after the highly-coveted offensive guru Kliff Kingsbury.
Long Strange Trip for Kingsbury
Kingsbury is a Texas high school legendary quarterback out of New Braunfelds, Texas. He headed to Lubbock in 2000 to play quarterback for Mike Leach, the architect of the Air Raid offense. With the Air Raid, Kingsbury set 39 school records and broke conference records and NCAA passing records.
After a short stint in the NFL, Kingsbury turned to coaching. Texas Tech hired him in 2013. He went 35-40 over six seasons, but his biggest claim to fame is that he coached both Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes.
Texas Tech fired Kingsbury in 2018 after posting another losing season. USC quickly snatched up him as offensive coordinator. The Trojans retained head coach Clay Helton, who had spent the previous season in the hot seat. USC retained Helton’s services, but bolstered the offense by hiring Kingsbury. At the same time, Kingsbury would presumably step in at the future if Helton failed to turn around USC next season.
Kingsbury didn’t spend too much time in Los Angeles before packing his bags for Arizona. The Cardinals hired Kingsbury with the specific reason to guide Rosen to new heights as a quarterback.
Top Pick and Kyler Murray
The Cardinals finished the season with only three wins and the worst record in the NFL. Kingsbury hoped to quell any rumors that they would snatch up another quarterback with the first pick.
“Our feelings toward Josh haven’t waned or changed or anything,” Kingsbury said. “I get we have the first pick and so there’s going to be a million scenarios over the next three months that are going to come up, but no, Josh is our guy.”
This year’s draft is thin in the quarterback ranks compared to last season with four quarterbacks drafted in 2018. All four made impacts this season with their respective teams. The Ravens were impressed with Lamar Jackson so much that they shipped out the high-priced Joey Flacco to the Denver Broncos.
The top QB prospect, Justin Herbert from Oregon, decided to stay in school another season. He said he wanted to play with his younger brother, an incoming freshman tight end. However, he probably wanted to avoid going to the Oakland Raiders. The team without a home in Oakland for next season has three first-round picks, but Herbert did not want to be one of them.
With a thin field, Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State decided to go pro. Kyler Murray is a two-way athlete at Oklahoma who won the Heisman trophy and played outfield for the Sooners. The Oakland A’s drafted him last year, but Murray picked a career path in the NFL instead.