Kyler Murray sneaks into top-10 of recent QB prospect rankings, Caleb Williams leads

Jul 28, 2023, 12:10 PM

Kyler Murray...

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray looks on during practice on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Kyler Murray’s reputation has swung fairly drastically over the past three years.

Midway through the 2021 season, there was legitimate MVP talk with Murray and the Arizona Cardinals finding themselves at 10-2 before a tumble to end the regular season and a biff of an NFC Wild Card appearance.

A season-and-a-half later, he’s coming off an ACL injury. Murray’s leadership is a talking point, fair or not as his down year in 2022 coincided with an incompetent end to the Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury eras.

A ranking of the top quarterbacks from the past five draft classes compared to the likely prospects from the 2024 draft class compiled by ESPN’s Matt Miller emphasized how much Murray’s stock has dropped. Miller asked NFL scouts, decision-makers and analysts to rank the players “as though they were all in the same draft class.”

Murray comes in No. 10.

Murray’s lack of size (5-foot-10) and experience (17 college starts) pushed him down the list, but we can’t forget the excitement surrounding him before the 2019 draft. He has gone on to a roughly 2-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio as a pro and has averaged 5.8 yards per rush while scoring 23 times on the ground. Murray is currently recovering from a torn ACL.

And to add emphasis to the possibility the Cardinals will have a high enough draft pick in 2024 to select another top quarterback, USC prospect Caleb Williams leads off the list.

Potential is a scary word when it comes to prospects, but USC’s Williams is loaded with it. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, he has excellent arm strength and ability to create on the move. He’s a true playmaker and an artist, throwing for 4,537 yards and accounting for 52 total touchdowns last season, his first with the Trojans after transferring from Oklahoma.

“Every play is successful because he either throws on time or moves and makes it happen. He has that off-script [Patrick] Mahomes factor,” one AFC scout said.

Not too surprisingly, Murray sits behind incoming rookies Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud despite high-level NFL production already on his resume.

Maybe most curiously though, is Jets backup quarterback Zach Wilson’s status as No. 8 on the list despite 22 games played, a completion percentage 11% lower than Murray’s and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 15-to-18.

Here’s a quick look at ESPN’s full poll:

ESPN’s ranking of top NFL QB prospects

1. Caleb Williams, USC prospect

2. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (2021 draft)

3. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (2020 draft)

4. Drake Maye, North Carolina prospect

5. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (2020 draft)

6. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (2020 draft)

7. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers (2023 draft)

8. Zach Wilson, New York Jets (2021 draft)

9. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (2023 draft)

10. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (2019 draft)

11. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (2021 draft)

12. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts (2023 draft)

13. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (2021 draft)

14. Mac Jones, New England Patriots (2021 draft)

15. Daniel Jones, New York Giants (2019 draft)

16. Dwayne Haskins, Washington Commanders (2019 draft)

17. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (2020 draft)

18. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers (2022 draft)

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