#11 Kyler Murray Quarterback Oklahoma
Kyler Murray is probably the most controversial and polarizing prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft. If you don’t believe me, go to Twitter, search for Derek Carr and Kyler Murray together and just take a look at Raiders Twitter. There is the controversy over his height, where everyone tries do decide if he’s tall enough and/or how tall he actually is. Hell, there is even a controversy over what sport he should play professionally. For what it’s worth, I believe Murray made the right decision and the Heisman Trophy winner is hands down the best quarterback in this draft. His ability to make plays with his feet and arm are unmatched.
Kyler Murray possesses running back-like traits as a runner. He is a shifty runner, has really good speed and avoids contact well. Excelling at avoiding contact is going to be vital to Murray’s success in the NFL. We’ve seen running quarterbacks struggle with injuries (i.e. Marcus Mariota missing eight starts in four years) and the more hits Murray is able to avoid, the more his risk for injury decreases. He is also extremely accurate and maintains his accuracy when throwing on the run. He consistently throws the ball where only his wide receiver can catch it. At times, he carries the ball loose and is susceptible to fumbling. Another weakness of Murray’s game is that he has a tendency to throw off his back foot when he doesn’t need to. This leads to some of his passes floating up in the air and those same passes could become interceptions in the NFL. If Murray can avoid throwing off his back foot and step into his throws more frequently, he could become an offensive weapon that we haven’t seen since Michael Vick.
This is where my rule of a player’s draft projection being within three picks of their rank, handcuffs me. Obviously, I think there are better or more talented players available in this draft, but quarterback is the most important position and Murray will be drafted higher than his rank. In order to uphold my journalistic integrity, I will abide by my rule.
The Dolphins traded quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Titans and currently have Ryan Fitzpatrick and Luke Falk on the roster. Murray would be the most talented player in that quarterback room and Miami can’t pass if he falls to 14th overall. The only reason I have the Dolphins listed higher than the Bengals is that Cincinnati doesn’t seem to be giving up on incumbent quarterback Andy Dalton just yet. With that being said, the Bengals could be sticking to Dalton because they haven’t seen a better option yet. Murray falling to pick 11 could force them to finally cut ties with Dalton. John Elway likes tall quarterbacks (Peyton, Osweiler, Lynch and Flacco), but recently those tall quarterbacks haven’t exactly fared well for the Broncos. While unlikely, I could see Elway going “full Costanza” and give a short quarterback a chance.