Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Kyler Murray, QB of Oklahoma. You can also check out all of our NFL Draft Prospect articles here. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league!
It’s no secret this incoming quarterback class is considered to be weak. Most draft and scouting pundits will tell you, however, that there is one exception: Kyler Murray.
Statistics from sports-reference.com.
When we look at Murray’s stats, we see he clearly was a one-year starter, his last season in Oklahoma. He put up impressive numbers across the board with a very high completion percentage of 69% and an impressive 4,361 yards. 42 touchdown passes compared to just seven interceptions is another reason why so many people are excited for this 21-year-old.
It is important to note that Murray is missing a season of production due to a transfer from Texas A&M to Oklahoma. He was fortunate enough to sit behind Baker Mayfield for a year and learn the offense before shining in the role this season.
The video above does an excellent job of showing off Murray’s versatility. The 21-year-old shows the willingness to let his receivers make plays on 50/50 balls, and makes plays with his legs, both rushing himself and throwing the ball accurately in the pocket. Murray can do a little bit of everything well, but further in the video we find more things he really excels at.
The first thing we see the former Sooner doing time and time again is making plays with his feet. Murray is fantastic at extending plays outside the pocket and making throws on the run. He has fantastic pocket presence and only flees the pocket when he senses pressure or to extend plays in order to allow his downfield targets time to get open by finding space during his scramble drill. Murray can also make plays by rushing the ball. He does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield but when he does decide to tuck and run, he makes the most of his opportunities.
He is at his best with timing passes. Three-step, five-step and even seven-step drops and the ball is out, delivered with touch, power and accuracy. While this does not always go hand in hand with Murray’s ability to make plays outside the pocket, it allows him to analyze quickly and see if the timing route is available. He can be selective as he can make plays even if his early reads are not open.
The last thing Murray shows is how he deals with pressure. While he is great at sensing pressure, he sometimes forces the ball in tight coverage and looks panicked. When he extends plays, he does a good job of making plays down the field. However, at times he shows bad decision-making when pressured and puts the ball in bad spots.
Watching Murray’s game tape versus Alabama shows the two sides of his game. In the first half, the Sooner QB looked flustered by the instant pressure and didn’t do a good job of getting the ball out or keeping it out of danger areas. In the second half, we see him making plays with his legs. Extending plays to flee pressure and making accurate passes on the run, Murray almost pulls off an improbable comeback.
According to MockDraftable, the lone flattering athletic comparison is ex-teammate Mayfield. Some of the less flattering athletic comps are Aaron Murray, Connor Shaw and Max Hall. Murray has drawn favorable comparisons to Mayfield by many scouting experts in playing style as well as athleticism.
When we look at the actual numbers, the biggest deficiency appears to be his size. While height is important for quarterbacks especially, Murray’s ability to make plays outside the pocket, makes his trouble seeing through bigger lineman a much more manageable issue. His hand size exceeds the minimum criteria most look for (9’) with 9 1/2’ and is also a non-issue.
Lastly, Murray’s short arms and lesser wingspan are in the first percentile. This shouldn’t affect him much as his shorter reach and diminutive stature don’t seem to affect his play. He had only five passes batted down at the line of scrimmage last season, less than any of the other top quarterback prospects in this draft class. It can also be said that his shorter arms help with his compact throwing motion and quick release.
April rookie ADP shows Murray has an ADP of 17 in rookie mock drafts. In superflex rookie drafts, his ADP is second overall. His overall dynasty ADP of 133 would make him an early 12th-round pick in startup drafts, and in superflex ADP, he is currently at 66. This would put him at the middle of the sixth round of superflex startups.
There is certainly no lack of buzz around Kyler Murray as he is widely considered the favorite to go number one overall. No matter if he winds up in Arizona with the Cardinals or with a quarterback-needy team like the Washington Redskins or Miami Dolphins, his value should remain as the QB1 in this class for fantasy purposes.
The best case scenario for Murray is to end up in a place with a progressive, forward-thinking offensive coordinator who will find innovative ways to put him on the move at times and use his playmaking abilities with his arm and feet.
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