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PFF: Could Cardinals draft Kyler Murray, keep Josh Rosen for QB battle?

Cardinals QB Josh Rosen, left, and Oklahoma prospect Kyler Murray, right. (AP photos)

Pro Football Focus made a list of every NFL team’s greatest needs and whether or not they needed a quarterback.

That list for the Arizona Cardinals is not quite straight-forward as most teams. While PFF says their top needs are offensive line, cornerback and wide receiver, it does not give a yes or no answer to the yes-or-no question of if the team needs a quarterback.

The Cardinals are one of four teams to receive a “maybe.”

That comes down to whether or not Arizona likes former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who could be taken with the first overall pick.

But the site gives an idea.

“While the discussion is whether to trade former first-round pick Josh Rosen or not, there is no reason why the team couldn’t keep both signal-callers and go with the winner from camp.”

Keep two quarterbacks, including the No. 1 overall pick of the draft, and make them battle it out? That’s unconventional, to say the least.

PFF notes that the first-round pick doesn’t have to start immediately.

“The idea of being married to a first-round pick as a starter right away doesn’t have to take effect next season, and the duo battling it out to be the best could be the ideal situation in the desert.”

Last year, the Cardinals went down the more traditional route of rostering two meaningful quarterbacks with the intention of the veteran option mentoring the other into the franchise QB when they drafted Josh Rosen at No. 10 and entered the season with Sam Bradford the starter.

On the opposite side of the country, the Baltimore Ravens stuck with long-time starter Joe Flacco even after drafting Lamar Jackson at No. 32 overall. Flacco got injured, Jackson took over, and now Flacco is on the Denver Broncos.

And in Cleveland, the Browns elected to start Tyrod Taylor at QB despite taking Baker Mayfield with the first pick. Mayfield quickly took over.

While starting the veteran didn’t work out for any of those teams, it’s not unprecedented to sit a quarterback picked at No. 1 overall. In fact, Matthew Stafford (2009) was the first quarterback taken at that spot to start his first game as a pro since Peyton Manning in 1998. Of the 13 quarterbacks drafted with the No. 1 pick since 2000, eight — Mayfield, Jared Goff and all six between 2001 and 2007 — did not enter the season as starters.

But with an unproven second-year player in Rosen, it wouldn’t be a new QB behind a mentor. It would be a college-like battle for the starting spot.

That would be a weird way to move past a disappointing season.

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