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The Cardinals could go 3 very different directions with the No. 1 draft pick

Best available, best QB, or trade?
Posted at 12:01 PM, Feb 28, 2019

For the first time in 60 years, the Arizona Cardinals own the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.

What they will do with that pick is anyone's guess.

Will general manager Steve Keim and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury simply take who they believe is the best player in the draft? Or will they look to deal the pick?

Here are three ways the Cards could go at No. 1.

1. Draft the best player available.

The Cardinals could keep it simple and stick with the tried-and-true method of selecting the most talented player in the draft. Most experts believe that player is Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, who missed most of the 2018 season due to injury but is a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks when healthy.

Bosa would certainly boost the Cardinals' ability to rush quarterbacks, and pairing him with elite pass rusher Chandler Jones would create some difficult matchups for opposing offenses. "His well-rounded athleticism and polished approach should set him apart from other top defenders in this class, though he can aid his case by displaying a bit more flexibility. Arizona is in need of cornerstones anywhere, and Bosa looks like the best bet in this class," USA Today's Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz wrote.

2. Draft Kyler Murray.

This, of course, is the scenario we're all talking about at the moment. Speculation continues to ramp up -- especially after Keim's comment Wednesday -- regarding the Cardinals' possible intentions to trade quarterback and 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen, and select Oklahoma QB and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick.

ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick told ABC15 "it’s more probable than not" that this scenario will play out. "I don’t think we should be shocked — as a matter of fact, I think we should prepare ourselves for that. It’s not a stretch to say go ahead and prepare yourself to see Josh Rosen in another uniform down the line," he said.

There's certainly a lot to like about Murray, a true dual-threat quarterback who beat opponents with both his arms and feet at OU. But would the Cardinals really be willing to give up on their first-round pick and (alleged) QB of the future so quickly?

3. Trade the pick.

If the Cardinals don't plan to take Murray with the No. 1 pick, Riddick said the Cardinals should look to deal it and get a large sum of picks in return.

"Quite honestly, I would be looking to move out of there then and move down, because I think there will be enough action from some of the quarterback-needy teams that they would get some (trade requests for) that No. 1 pick," he said "There would be some teams that would be willing to go ahead and get up there, just to make sure that they could then get Kyler or get (Ohio State's) Dwayne Haskins, the only two quarterbacks that we’re talking about being drafted that high."

By acquiring some extra picks in the first couple rounds, the Cardinals could immediately plug a number of holes throughout their roster, including on the offensive line and at wide receiver. "There’s a lot of things they could do with those extra picks if they do, in fact, feel as though Josh Rosen is the guy going forward," Riddick said.