ARIZONA CARDINALS

PFF ranks Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among bottom half of starting NFL QBs

May 19, 2021, 11:02 AM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs as San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Withe...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs as San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has taken noticeable steps forward in his two years as the team’s starter.

The signal caller surpassed his rookie numbers across the board last year, proving his continued growth as an NFL quarterback, but where does he stand among the rest of the NFL starters?

According to Pro Football Focus’ ranking published Tuesday, Murray sits outside the top half of the league’s projected starting QBs at No. 17, behind the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (16), the Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert (15), the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins (14) and the Las Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr (13).

Murray took a nice step forward in Year 2, raising his passing grade by over 16 points and adding 822 yards on the ground. The Cardinals did well to utilize his skill set, as his rushing stats were a mix of designed quarterback runs and scrambles.

With the NFC West being as competitive as ever, Arizona continues to do a good job building around Murray. However, the signal-caller has to show more development in the intermediate passing (10-19 yards) game, where he ranked 24th while in rhythm. It’s an area where he can raise his level of play and make the players around him better.

Last season, Murray completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,971 yards and 26 touchdowns. His sack numbers improved from 48 to 27 as he helped lead the Cardinals to an 8-8 finish and secured a 2020 Pro Bowl nod in the process.

He also rushed for career highs in yards (819) and scores (11), leading all Cardinals runners.

Despite ranking 13th among 2020 passers (82.8), Murray was third in terms of rushing with an 86.5 grade from PFF.

While Murray put up more yards on throws 10 yards or more (2,446 yards and seven touchdowns on 67% passing), he was more accurate on his shorter throws.

Murray completed 71% for 380 yards and seven scores on passes 1-3 yards, while throwing for 504 yards and eight scores on 69.5% on passes 4-6 yards.

Murray sits behind the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson (4) and the Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford (11) when looking at PFF’s rankings of the NFC West signal callers. San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo rounds out the division at No. 22.

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PFF ranks Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among bottom half of starting NFL QBs