The 2019 NFL draft is now less than a month away, and the common prediction is the Arizona Cardinals going after Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1 and the San Francisco 49ers taking Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa at No. 2. Mel Kiper wrote his latest mock draft and it stays consistent with what has been going on the last few weeks: Murray to the Cardinals, Bosa to the 49ers. The article does require an ESPN+ subscription but you can see what he said about the Niners without a subcription.
Here’s his latest thoughts on the Murray pick:
The buzz around Murray going No. 1 has only heated up since the combine. And here’s why it makes sense: New coach Kliff Kingsbury can start his tenure in Arizona with his guy. The 5-foot-10, 207-pound Murray can run the offense Kingsbury wants to run, with no limitations. Josh Rosen is a much different quarterback than Murray, and Kingsbury was going to have to fit his Air Raid concepts to Rosen’s strengths. Now, we can question the logic behind taking a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back drafts. It’s a terrible look to ditch a top-10 pick after a year. Can general manager Steve Keim get a first-round pick for Rosen in a trade, even if it’s in 2020? That might help the Cardinals save face. There’s a lot to like about Heisman Trophy winner Murray, even if we should expect some struggles early behind Arizona’s offensive line.
The only negative I can think on this not happening is this could define Kingsbury and Keim’s job if it happens. If Kingsbury can’t get that team turned around in two-three years, both of them could be hopping into the unemployment line for the fact Keim took a quarterback in the first round twice in as many years. That’s Cleveland Browns level incompetence.
Alright, onto the main event. Nick Bosa. What can Kiper say that has not already been said?
The 49ers could be the big winners if Murray goes No. 1 because it means the top pass-rusher -- and my top-ranked prospect -- is still on the board here. Two potential options:
Take Bosa and put him on the other side of new addition Dee Ford, and the edge-rushing group -- a major weakness in 2018 -- immediately becomes a strength.
Put the pick up for sale and get more capital to improve a talented team that still has some holes.
We’ve seen San Francisco GM John Lynch trade down before; he did it in 2017, when the Bears moved up one spot to take Mitchell Trubisky, and the Niners got back two third-round picks and a fourth-rounder. Could Lynch do it again?
Remember the days when I said the 49ers had a legit shot at Nick Bosa? I thought it was for different reasons than what is transpiring, but now that Bosa is becoming a reality I can’t help but feel buyer’s remorse and wondering if a trade back is the best option.
There’s not much more I (or many of you) can say that hasn’t already been said about this scenario other than if the 49ers go with Bosa, I hope he makes the defensive line one of the most feared in the league. Between him, Dee Ford, and DeForest Buckner (hey Solomon Thomas, this is your year, son) that line has the potential to be one of the best in the league. If the 49ers can put up points like the Kansas City Chiefs could in 2017 and 2018, that line could force some insane takeaways when opposing teams are forced to play catch-up.
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