Arizona Cardinals' top NFL draft picks: Kyler Murray already near top of quarterbacks list

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
View Comments

The Arizona Cardinals have selected 13 quarterbacks in the NFL draft since the team moved to Arizona in 1988.

Some of them have been a lot better picks than others.

The franchise has now taken three quarterbacks in the first round in Arizona.

Matt Leinart, Josh Rosen and Kyler Murray.

Arizona selected Leinart, the signal-caller out of USC, with the No. 10 overall pick of the 2006 draft under coach Dennis Green.

It took Rosen out of UCLA with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 draft under coach Steve Wilks.

Murray, out of Oklahoma, was picked by the team with the No. 1 pick of the 2019 draft under coach Kliff Kingsbury.

The first time the Cardinals took a quarterback in Arizona?


The team picked Washington State's Timm Rosenbach with the No. 2 pick of the supplemental draft that year.

The franchise has taken a quarterback in the second round twice in Arizona.

It picked Penn State quarterback Tony Sacca at No. 46 overall in 1992. Five years later, it took ASU quarterback Jake Plummer at No. 42.

MORE:Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray lands in Top 5 of NFL MVP odds for 2020 season

Among the other notable Cardinals selections at quarterback since moving to Arizona: New Mexico quarterback Stoney Case in the third round in 1995 (No. 80 overall) and Sam Houston State's Josh McCown in the third round in 2002 (No. 81 overall).

Since Arizona picked Leinart in 2006, it has taken five quarterbacks in the draft. It selected John Skelton out of Fordham in the fifth round in 2010, Ryan Lindley out of San Diego State in the sixth round in 2012 and Logan Thomas out of Virginia Tech in the fourth round in 2014 before taking Rosen in 2018 and Murray in 2019.

Kyler Murray is already one of the best quarterbacks the Arizona Cardinals have ever drafted.

The team has twice taken quarterbacks in the last round of the NFL draft since relocating to the Valley.

It took Northwest Missouri State quarterback Chris Greisen in the seventh round in 1999 and Michigan QB John Navarre in the seventh round in 2004.

Top 5 quarterbacks drafted by Cardinals in Arizona:

Ranking the best quarterbacks to ever be drafted by the Cardinals shouldn't be a difficult task, with only 13 quarterbacks to choose from.

But, most of Arizona's drafted quarterback haven't done much in the NFL, making the task tougher that it might initially seem.

Here's our current rankings of the Cardinals' Top 5 draft picks at quarterback, realizing that a lot could change quickly depending on Kyler Murray's performance in his second season in Arizona.

1. Jake Plummer - In six seasons in Arizona, Plummer threw 90 touchdown passes and had 114 passes intercepted. He threw for 17,622 yards during his time with the Cardinals and memorably led his team to a NFL playoff game victory over the Dallas Cowboys in 1998.

Jake Plummer was a college football legend at Arizona State before being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals.

2. Josh McCown - McCown played the first four seasons of a 17-year NFL career with the Cardinals. He started 22 games in Arizona. He went 498-of-862 passing for 5,431 yards, with 25 touchdowns and 29 passes intercepted. He knocked the Minnesota Vikings out of the playoffs with a memorable last-second touchdown completion to Nate Poole in 2003.

3. Kyler Murray - Murray had 20 touchdown passes and threw 12 interceptions in his rookie season with the Cardinals. He completed 64.4% of his passes, throwing for 3,722 yards. He also rushed for 544 yards and four touchdowns while earning NFL offensive rookie of the year honors.

MORE:Would Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray be happier playing in a different uniform?

4. Matt Leinart - Leinart played the first four seasons of his career in Arizona. He threw for 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions for the Cardinals, completing 57.1% of his passes. His rookie season was his best season. Leinart threw for 11 touchdowns and had 12 passes intercepted that year, throwing for 2,547 yards.

5. Timm Rosenbach - Rosenbach played three seasons for Arizona before injuries prematurely ended his career. In 1990, he had 16 touchdown passes and threw 17 interceptions. He finished his Cardinals career with 3,676 yards passing.

Quarterbacks drafted by Cardinals in Arizona:

  • 2019: 1st round (1 overall) | Kyler Murray | QB | Oklahoma
  • 2018: 1st round (10 overall) | Josh Rosen | QB | UCLA
  • 2014: 4th round (120 overall) | Logan Thomas | QB | Virginia Tech
  • 2012: 6th round (185 overall) | Ryan Lindley | QB | San Diego State
  • 2010: 5th round (155 overall | John Skelton | QB | Fordham
  • 2006: 1st round  (10 overall) | Matt Leinart | QB | USC 
  • 2004: 7th round  (202 overall) | John Navarre | QB | Michigan
  • 2002: 3rd round (81 overall) | Josh McCown | QB | Sam Houston State
  • 1999: 7th round (239 overall) | Chris Greisen | QB | Northwest Missouri State
  • 1997: 2nd round (42 overall) | Jake Plummer | QB | Arizona State
  • 1995: 3rd round (80 overall) | Stoney Case | QB | New Mexico
  • 1992: 2nd round (46 overall) | Tony Sacca | QB | Penn State
  • 1989: No. 2 pick of supplemental draft | Timm Rosenbach | QB | Washington State
View Comments