ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kyler Murray 13th among QBs in The Athletic’s poll of coaches, executives

Jul 25, 2022, 11:31 AM
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals passes during a 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams during ...
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals passes during a 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Wild Card at SoFi Stadium on January 17, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

“Is Kyler Murray a top 10 quarterback?” has been a question asked more times than not this offseason, especially after the signal caller secured a five-year contract extension that makes him the among the highest-paid QBs in the NFL annually.

In Mike Sando’s poll of 50 NFL coaches and executives at The Athletic, Murray finds himself in the second tier of NFL QBs at No. 13.

Tier 2 quarterbacks are described as players who can carry their teams at times but not on a regular basis.

“He has a hole or two in his game,” writes Sando.

Of the areas highlighted in Murray’s game, his consistency — or lack thereof — was a hot topic.

“He’s a really streaky player,” an anonymous head coach said. “I don’t see the consistency of excellence at the position. When he cannot run, I haven’t seen him play well enough from the pocket to win. And then I don’t think he possesses the decision making or the ability to just control a game with his mind. But he’s an excellent player — a dangerous player is a better way to describe him. “He’s dangerous when you are unsound, meaning you have bad matchups and he can just hit you on an isolation. But when he truly has to read it out, when there’s not air for him to take advantage of in the run game and then just his running threat, he’s inconsistent with it.”

Over the course of the first two months of every season since 2019, Murray sports a 15-8-1 record to go along with 6,352 yards and 39 touchdowns to 18 interceptions on 67.6% passing.

But in the final three months of the season, Murray’s numbers take a hit, highlighted by his 7-15 record as a starter.

In the 22 games played from November-January, Murray has recorded 5,128 yards and 31 touchdowns to 16 interceptions on 66% passing. He chipped in an additional 889 yards and eight scores on 144 carries.

And when the QB doesn’t run the rock on a regular basis, the win output dips. The Cardinals are 14-4 when he records at least eight rushing attempts as opposed to an 8-19 mark when Murray has less than eight carries.

“I thought about giving him a 3 because the meltdown (against the Rams in the playoffs) was a meltdown, but by the same token, he is talented, he is athletic, he runs around, he extends the down, makes plays with his feet,” an evaluator said. “It is difficult because he is not a big-bodied guy, and that shows up at times. I think he is a wide receiver mentality playing quarterback. … Things have to be a certain type of way for him to have success. Being more of a loner or introvert at that position is tough.”

The inconsistencies aren’t lost on Murray, either, who spoke on the team’s second-half-of-the-season woes and what needs to change moving forward.

“As a whole just attention to detail when it comes down to November-December,” Murray told reporters on Friday. “Everybody talks about how great we’ve been to come out the gate but I think when it gets later into the season, guys are banged up, I’ve been banged up a couple times.

“The little things matter. I think if we can all hone in on the little things, be greater on the little things, I think that will take us to the next level. I think in the past we’ve kind of gotten away from doing things maybe not the right way. It ends up catching up with us. That’s how I feel. I think with all the situations we’ve been through, all the reps and all the ups and downs, the positives and negatives, I think we can learn from all the negatives and take that into next year.”

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Kyler Murray 13th among QBs in The Athletic’s poll of coaches, executives