Kyler Murray begins year in top-10 of The Ringer’s QB rankings
Off the top of your head, you can rank the best NFL quarterbacks with the help of some buddies, but The Ringer’s Steven Ruiz took it to a whole other level heading into this season.
Ruiz graded all 32 starting quarterbacks in six categories on a 1-100 scale: accuracy, arm talent, creativity, decision-making, pocket presence and pre-snap. Those seven categories produce an average to rank all of them, and Ruiz has Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray No. 10 overall.
Murray’s grades from Ruiz weigh heavily in one direction or the other. He’s above a 90 for creativity (96), arm talent (95) and accuracy (93) but an 80 or below for decision-making (80), pocket presence (70) and pre-snap (75).
Ruiz wrote that Murray showed improvement in one of those lower-rated areas.
In his third season, Murray took ownership of Kliff Kingsbury’s haphazard scheme and became more active before the snap. He checked into successful runs after surveying the defensive front, he recognized blitzes and promptly beat them with quick throws, and, buoyed by the acquisition of center Rodney Hudson, he helped sort out the team’s protection calls. Even though Arizona’s season ended poorly after a hot start, the progress Murray showed in 2021 bodes well for his and the team’s future.
As for pocket presence, here’s what Ruiz is concerned with.
This is where Murray’s height issue shows up. He often gives up ground to get a better view of the field, which makes things harder on his tackles, and he can be a little too confident in his ability to out-run pass rushers, leading to long sacks that could be set to the Benny Hill theme song.
With that in mind, Murray is described as “annoyingly hard to tackle” and was credited for his improvisational skills when he “scurries” to create space.
Ruiz will be updating the rankings week-by-week, so it’ll be interesting to see how much movement Murray makes on the list.
Murray ranks ahead of the Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford, the Indianapolis Colts’ Matt Ryan and the Las Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr as the initial trio outside the top-10.
Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and Dallas Cowboys signal caller Dak Prescott are the first three names Murray could leapfrog.