ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals to host DE Nick Bosa in Arizona, per report

Apr 1, 2019, 7:48 AM | Updated: 10:42 am
Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunda...
Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

There’s a reason that a minority still believe the Arizona Cardinals are using quarterback Kyler Murray as a smokescreen heading into the NFL Draft. That’s because Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa was a near-unanimously-projected first overall pick before Murray in January flipped from eyeing a baseball future to going all-in on football.

The Cardinals met with Bosa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and now The MMQB’s Albert Breer reports they are hosting the pass-rusher Thursday and Friday in Arizona.

Bosa’s visit will count toward one of 30 visits allowed to the team’s facilities.

For all the reasons head coach Kliff Kingsbury has been open about his love for Murray’s game — as honest as it might be — the Cardinals spending so much time with Bosa will only help their cause. Other teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, who own the No. 2 pick, likely hope that Arizona bypasses players like Bosa and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to select Murray instead.

For the Cardinals’ purposes, this showiness goes a way in building a market for the top pick, leading them to find an enticing offer of a package of picks to trade down.

That said, this is also about doing their research with the intention of keeping their No. 1 pick.

Last Tuesday, Kingsbury said at the NFL owners meetings the team was still in the draft board-building process.  And it’s a process that Arizona general manager Steve Keim has said wouldn’t be complete until a week or two before the NFL Draft, which begins April 25.

“… I know y’all get tired of hearing it: We’re no closer to a decision than the last time we spoke,” Kingsbury told reporters in Arizona on Tuesday. “It’s just you got to get all the information, you got to meet all the players and then come up with the best answer you can come up with.”

It might make sense for Arizona to draft Murray, who thrived en route to a Heisman Trophy while leading an Oklahoma offense very similar to Kingsbury’s Air Raid he coached at Texas Tech.

But because the Cardinals just might have a lot of belief in last year’s first-round pick, quarterback Josh Rosen, it could make even more sense for Bosa to be the pick, too.

The Cardinals, as of now, are replacing the most defensive snaps of any NFL team from the 2018 season, and shifting from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense has highlighted a need for defensive pass-rushers, even if they signed veterans Terrell Suggs and Brooks Reed to play at outside linebacker alongside Pro Bowler Chandler Jones.

Bosa recorded 34 tackles, 16 for loss and 8.5 sacks as a sophomore at Ohio State. Last year as a junior, he posted 14 tackles, six for loss, and four sacks in three games before a core injury ended his season.

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