One of the most transcendent talents in recent memory, former Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray was selected first overall in the NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Murray is a dynamic dual-threat weapon capable of extending plays on his feet as well as dropping back into the pocket and squeezing deep balls into tight windows. A perfect fit for new coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s offense, the starting job looks to be Murray’s to lose.
Watch Arizona Cardinal GM Steve Keim Call Kyler Murray A ‘Game-Changer’
Cardinals GM Steve Keim – “Having the number one draft in the NFL draft is certainly a game changer. That’s exactly what we did. We selected a game-changer. Kyler Murray has a unique skill set and is a transcending player.”
Cut from the Patrick Mahomes mold, Murray has a cannon arm and is incredibly quick on his feet. Registering the fastest 40 yard dash time of any quarterback in NFL history, Murray is undoubtedly an incredibly unique prospect. While he is a bit shorter than most other NFL QBs, checking in at just 5’10 1/8″ at the NFL combine, smaller quarterbacks with a similar game, like Russell Wilson, have shown that players like Murray can find success in the NFL.
Does Kyler Murray Make the Cardinals A Better Team?
Kind of. There are a lot of things wrong with the Cardinals right now and while the addition of Murray is a great fit, he might suffer a similar fate to Josh Rosen should the Cardinals fail to improve the team around him. David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald are great but they have no offensive line to let Johnson run or keep the QB on his feet long enough to routinely find Fitz. The problem with the Cardinals last season wasn’t so much Rosen as it was their ability to give him time to work.
Murray should be able to extend plays on his own and buy himself some more time but cannot be expected to be forced to do that on every passing down. While Murray comes in at a solid 207 pounds, he is still one of the smaller players on the field and will likely see himself facing a lot of punishment behind a weak line.
To the Cardinals credit, they were ravaged hard by injuries last year, helping make them seem like a worse team than they really were – especially on the offensive line. Expect a decent improvement from Arizona this year just due to the fact that their team should be healthy but know that many of those improvements would have likely come with Rosen at the helm of the ship as well.
All in all, Murray should make the Cardinals a bit better in the long run given his ideal system fit. However, just how much better he makes the team is entirely reliant on the ability of Keim and Kingsbury to build out a strong supporting cast to help ease their young quarterback into the NFL.