Commentators on NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk raved generously about Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
In a list of the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL, analyst Chris Simms ranked Murray 12th. Simms and host Mike Florio agreed that Murray had about as good of a rookie season as you can ask for, and that he has a bright future in the league.
“We expected him to be really good, and he was,” Florio said. “And it’s one of those rare occasions where a guy met all of our expectations. But everything we’ve seen so far is exactly what we could have hoped for.”
Indeed, the expectations were high for Murray. Coming out of Oklahoma as an elite quarterback prospect, the expectations were so high for Murray that the Cardinals were willing to ditch the Josh Rosen plan after one year and hitch their wagon to Murray, and it worked out.
Murray’s rookie year saw him take home Offensive Rookie of the Year as he passed for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 544 yards and four touchdowns.
“Stats, they don’t tell the whole story here with Kyler Murray,” Simms said. “First off, as a player, really no weakness to Kyler Murray’s game. When you just really break him down: unbelievable arm strength, unbelievably quick release, of course we know other than Lamar Jackson — and I don’t know, maybe he’s faster — it’s one of those two for the best running quarterbacks in football. He’s mature and wise beyond his years. He’s very accurate. He has every throw in the book. Every club in the bag, he can bring out.
“There’s really nothing he doesn’t do, let alone his value to the offense, also is way more valuable than the stats will ever say. They were a good rushing offense this year. Why? Because of Kyler Murray. Because of his ability to run and because you had to account for him in the run game if he kept the ball on the read options and things like that.”
Murray could be in for improvement in 2020. With a year of NFL experience under his belt, the same being true for his head coach, getting a full year of Kenyan Drake and DeAndre Hopkins added to the mix, there are several things working in his favor. Florio said he expected Murray to take a big jump in year two, similar to Patrick Mahomes and Jackson.
“This is a superstar,” Simms said. “Maybe I’m low at 12. Maybe he should be higher.”