With the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cardinals selected Kyler Murray, quarterback out of Oklahoma. Off-the-charts athleticism make him one of the most explosive players in this draft class. Will draw comparisons to Russell Wilson but is a better athlete. Can play in the pocket and doesn’t look to run if first progression isn’t there. Shows good accuracy and touch, and can make every throw.
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Pete Prisco: He’s intriguing. I like the way he can throw the football, but he did it in an offense with five guys that are gonna get drafted in front of him. There is a lot to like, but he has bust potential written all over him. I don’t like quarterbacks that stand 5-10.
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Dave Richard: Murray will fit the Cardinals’ new offense like a glove — it’s the same “Air Raid” system he throttled defenses with the Sooners. He’s basically Lamar Jackson, except he’s accurate. And I want a guy with that potential on my roster. So I will aim for him late in my drafts as part of a two-man quarterback tandem. I have no problem getting him and someone like Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott or Tom Brady and going with the veteran until I am sure Murray will be awesome. Had you done this with Patrick Mahomes last year, or Deshaun Watson the year before, you’d have been happy. It’s the success of those young quarterbacks that should help give you some confidence in giving Murray consideration this year.
NFL comparison: Steve Young
Chris Trapasso: Here me out on this one. Young was an ultra-efficient, frightening dual-threat quarterback at the collegiate level who could win from inside the pocket and could erupt with his legs thanks to high-level athleticism. That is Murray to a T. Young wasn’t the biggest quarterback either at around 6-foot-0 and 210-ish pounds. It wasn’t until Young landed with the 49ers that he reached his full potential — and became a Hall of Fame signal-caller. He sat behind Joe Montana for his first four seasons in San Francisco and didn’t become the starter until his age-30 (!) season. Murray’s going to be starting for whichever team drafts him just a little earlier than that. Anyway, I’ll admit I wasn’t scouting Young when he came out of BYU after the 1983 season. In fact, I wasn’t alive yet. But I do remember the way he could take over a game with pinpoint accuracy or as a scrambler in the NFL. Murray only showed it for one year in college, but I truly believe he has “take over the game” type skills as a refined passer and runner. Young was pretty unique. So is Murray.
Ryan Wilson: Murray began his college career at Texas A&M where he played in eight games as a freshman in 2015 and completed 60 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He transferred to Oklahoma after that season and served as Mayfield’s backup in 2017, when he attempted just 21 passes. But he earned the starting job ahead of the 2018 campaign and in 14 games Murray completed 69 percent of his throws with 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He also rushed for another 1,001 yards and 12 scores, averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
Among all FBS quarterbacks, Murray ranked first in Pro Football Focus‘ adjusted-completion-vs.-pressure metric, and was second in both adjusted completion vs. the blitz and overall adjusted completion percentage.
Ryan Wilson: Has unparalleled athleticism and mobility, both in the pocket and when he decides to run. Has one of the best arms in this class; the ball explodes out of his hand almost effortlessly. This throw against Alabama in the playoffs embodies all that Murray does well:
First, there’s the quickness in stepping up in the pocket to avoid Alabama pass rusher Anfernee Jennings from the blindside, then there’s keeping his eyes up downfield, and instead of running he throws a 49-yard laser to Charleston Rambo that hits him in stride, just out of reach of two Alabama defensive backs.
Ryan Wilson: Murray is 5-foot-10. More than that, however, is that he played the 2018 season at around 190 pounds. Yes, he bulked up to 207 for the combine but he doesn’t appear to have Russell Wilson’s frame in that he could add another 10-15 pounds. Durability is a concern for some NFL teams though Murray was sacked just 18 times in 2018. He also had just one year as a starter; after transferring from Texas A&M after the 2015 season, Murray sat out 2016, watched Mayfield in 2017 and finally earned the starting job last season.