Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 10 QBs in ESPN poll of NFL personnel

Jul 12, 2021, 10:41 AM
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at S...
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has seen progressive growth as an NFL quarterback the past two seasons.

Considered a threat in the air and on the ground, Murray has quickly made a name for himself in the league.

Despite landing 13th in passing yards and second in rushing yards among quarterbacks last season, Murray was ranked 10th among NFL passers, one spot behind second-year signal caller and Los Angeles Charger Justin Herbert.

After NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2019, Murray looked destined to crack the top 10 after Year 2. He did, but not convincingly. The voting drop-off after Herbert was significant, with Murray winning a tiebreaker with Matt Ryan.

Murray’s arm strength and release are impressive, with one NFL quarterback saying he can “throw the s— out of the ball.”

As Fowler noted, Murray led the NFL with 14 completions of at least 40 yards. He set career marks in passing yards (3,971), touchdowns (26) and completion percentage (67.2%). He also saw his sack totals drop from 48 to 27 and chipped in 813 rushing yards to go along with 11 scores on the ground.

He was especially good early on in the season, rattling off 2,375 passing yards and 17 touchdowns on 68.2% accuracy.

The last seven weeks of the season painted a different story, however.

But his play faded late in the season, with a 57.0 Total QBR over the season’s final seven weeks, ranking 19th out of 32 eligible quarterbacks. Murray was ninth over the first 10 weeks, at 76.9.

While the numbers show a downturn, Murray was also dealing with a shoulder injury in the later part of the year.

“He’s very talented. Some of issues are outside of him — I don’t think [the Cardinals’] style of play is conducive to winning big games late in the season,” an AFC scout told Fowler.

“Even though the NFL is more open with more passing, really good teams still put an emphasis on defense and running the ball. They are the complete opposite.”

The other NFC West quarterbacks in the ranking were the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson at No. 4 and the Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford at No. 6.

As for Herbert, a notable riser ahead of Murray, he is already turning heads following an impressive rookie year.

Herbert has the NFL’s attention in a big way, appearing on as many ballots as Prescott and Stafford. He didn’t have any top-five votes, but evaluators had a difficult time keeping him off after an explosive rookie year with the Chargers.

He’s hard to ignore in person, too.

“Big as hell. Looks like Megatron,” a Pro Bowl running back said of the 6-foot-6, 237-pound passer. “He’s going to be a factor for a long time.”

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Lecitus Smith #54 of the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Inglewood, Calif...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Lecitus Smith: People mistake Kyler Murray’s passion for ball

Cardinals OL Lecitus Smith was the latest teammate to come to the defense of QB Kyler Murray following recent criticism from Patrick Peterson.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals OLB Myjai Sanders (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

How the Cardinals should attack the final 5 games

With little hope of turning the season around, it's time for the Arizona Cardinals to turn the page and look to the future.
2 days ago
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals w...
Kevin Zimmerman

Patrick Peterson says he has no beef with Kyler Murray, adds more criticism of Cardinals QB

Patrick Peterson's attempt at cooling things down after his comments about Kyler Murray on his own podcast included more criticism of the QB.
3 days ago
Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals walks off the field following the NFL game at ...
Alex Weiner

Hard Knocks recap: Kyler Murray returns to forefront, Cardinals give back on Thanksgiving

Kyler Murray returned, the Cardinals lost another heartbreaker and several teammates gave back on Thanksgiving in the latest episode.
3 days ago
Paris Johnson Jr. #77 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in action against the Northwestern Wildcats during...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals nab OL Paris Johnson in Brugler’s 1st mock draft for 2023

The Athletic's Dane Brugler graced us with his first mock of the year on Wednesday and has the Cardinals taking OSU's Paris Johnson at No. 7.
4 days ago
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 20: Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals is congratul...
Arizona Sports

Kyler Murray calls out Patrick Peterson for condemning comments made on podcast

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray let his frustration with former teammate Patrick Peterson calling him out on a podcast known.
4 days ago
Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 10 QBs in ESPN poll of NFL personnel