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Three ESPN writers tab Cardinals as favorite for No. 1 pick in 2020

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and quarterback Josh Rosen (3) talk it over prior to an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

After a rough 2018 season, the Cardinals are getting ready to pick No. 1 overall for the first time since moving to Arizona.

A good draft could be a big step toward making some improvements next season under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, but according to three different NFL writers for ESPN, they could be right back in the same situation next year.

In an article for ESPN+ answering this offseason’s biggest questions, Dan Graziano, Jason Reid and Kevin Seifert all said that the Cardinals are the early favorite for the first pick in next year’s draft, with all of them citing uncertainty surrounding Kingsbury and second-year quarterback Josh Rosen.

Which team should be the early favorite to pick No. 1 overall in the 2020 draft?

Dan Graziano, national NFL writer: Cardinals … again. Josh Rosen is starting over in Year 2 with a new coaching staff and a completely untested coach, with lots of work still to do to make the roster respectable … The Cardinals are a long ways off.

Jason Reid, The Undefeated senior writer: Cardinals. They are a complete mess. It’s fair to question the overall direction of the organization, and the roster needs a ton of work. I mean, it wouldn’t be surprising if Arizona had to start all over again in a couple of seasons.

Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: Cardinals. Not enough people recognize the unusual approach the Cardinals are taking to dig out of their hole. They hired a failed college coach (Kingsbury) because they think he is a good playcaller, will start a quarterback (Rosen) who ranked last in the NFL in Total QBR and have a coaching staff hired by the general manager. Sometimes different is good, but this arrangement has a chance to bomb spectacularly.

Their concerns are not without merit, as Kingsbury and Rosen have a lot to prove if the Cardinals want to improve upon their league-worst offense from last season and start heading back in the right direction.

Their roster also still contains a good amount of holes, especially on the offensive line, but they have already taken some steps toward filling these.

The recent signing of cornerback Robert Alford and the waiver claims of safety D.J. Swearinger and linebacker Tanner Vallejo all look to be upgrades on last season’s roster, and more will likely be on the way.

The Cardinals got the second-most votes in this exercise, only trailing the Dolphins, who got four. The Bengals also received one vote.

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