While Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury left it somewhat in the air whether or not No. 1 draft pick Kyler Murray would be the Week 1 starting quarterback, it is safe to say it would be disappointing if it didn’t happen. General manager Steve Keim expects it. Kingsbury has said multiple times he is building the offense around Murray. Not having Murray as the starter would seem odd if it is built around him.
If things go as expected, it will reverse a recent trend for quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall.
Pro Football Talk wrote about how historically it has been 50-50 whether a QB picked No. 1 overall is the team’s Week 1 starter or whether he sits. That has come in streaks, though.
The last two quarterbacks selected first overall, Baker Mayfield in 2018 and Jared Goff in 2016, sat out to start the season. Mayfield started in Week 4 because of an injury to Tyrod Taylor. Goff didn’t start until Week 11.
However, the previous five quarterbacks selected first overall were Week 1 starters — Jameis Winston, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford.
The three before them — JaMarcus Russell, Alex Smith and Eli Manning — all sat out to start the year.
Of course, each situation is unique. The other quarterbacks on the roster for the Cardinals are Brett Hundley and 2018 undrafted free agent Charles Kanoff.
The QBs who sat out to start the year were behind established veteran starters. Murray has a veteran in Hundley as a teammate, but he has never been more than a backup. His NFL starts have all come as a result of an injury to a starter.
Kingsbury’s comments about how we have to wait and see how things play out with the starting job are simply a way to respect the competitive process. He expects Murray to start, but no starting job has been set at any position yet.