With the first pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected quarterback Kyler Murray from the University of Oklahoma.
The diminutive quarterback has exceptional athleticism and a Heisman on his resume. Kyler Murray brings speed that can complement or enhance the threat of a strong rushing attack. He also brings the arm talent to be a threat from anywhere on the field. Opposing defenses will have to be mindful of Murray’s speed, and arm now that he has been drafted during the 2019 NFL Draft.
Murray boasts a fantastic skill set that would have been a lock first overall pick. Regardless of his height, Murray was chosen in the first round for a reason. Murray demonstrates the accuracy needed to hit all levels of the field. His career completion percentage was one of the highest in the nation. He showed that his throwing on the run didn’t negatively affect his accuracy either.
Murray’s composure under pressure is very admirable. Blitzes that hope to bring him down or roll him out can fail easily because of his baseball background. His quick, compact release doesn’t waste any movement whatsoever. He maximizes his delivery and accuracy. This also contributes to his overall arm strength, and ability to improvise. He can easily hit targets on the run, from anywhere on the field.
Murray’s speed is a significant asset. The speed contributes to making up first downs that do not present themselves in the passing game. His experience in a spread offense will help his transition to a pass-happy NFL scheme.
Murray’s acceleration, though, is probably his greatest strength. Murray’s short area quickness is impressive, and his ability to get to top speed is a rare trait the NFL world hasn’t seen maybe since Michael Vick played.
Murray’s overall weakness is his pocket presence. Too many times does he bail from a clean pocket because he feels a sense of pressure. While he’s fantastic at making something out of nothing, and his improvisational skills are excellent, having a clean pocket is a luxury in the NFL that should be taken advantage of.
Considering NFL defenders are much faster than the average collegiate player, Murray’s speed and ability to improvise will not be as prevalent or as reliable. Murray has to develop patience and stoicism in the pocket to maximize his skill as a mobile quarterback that is a threat from anywhere on the field. Also, he has to prove that he can manage to throw into tighter windows that will be more frequent with professional level defensive backs in coverage.
How will Murray help the Cardinals?
Murray will immediately improve the offensive side of the ball considering his mobility will allow plays to extend and pose a threat that defenses will have to play honestly with a QB spy. This will remove a potential man in coverage and allow mismatches to flourish. In addition, Murray poses a threat on read-option or play-action concepts, able to keep the ball and gash a defense with his legs if they don’t account for him.