Name: Kyler Murray
CONFERENCE: Big 12
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 1
RECRUITMENT RATING: 5-star
WT: 190 lbs
Arm Accuracy –Illustrates more general accuracy vs. pinpoint precision. Capable of making ample lay-up throws and has plenty of flashes to drive ball into tight window. That said, leaves too many back-shoulder throws inside or forces steep adjustments from receivers at the catch point.
Decision Making –Would like to see him more willing to keep his eyes up on arrival of pressure, often drops eyes and will miss uncovered targets by deciding to run. Has had lapses in post-snap processing, although lack of experience as a starter suggests these errors can be ironed out.
Progressions –Biggest area of inconsistency. Fully capable, moves eyes across the set and can work right to left or high to low. Too often predetermines his target, however. Guilty of staring down the barrel. Misses a lot of intermediate routes into the MOF, struggles to see over OL.
Anticipation –Throws with most confidence to two areas: vertically between the numbers and on out-breaking patterns to the sideline. Good timing in these areas, otherwise prefers to see the throw uncovered. Spot throws into zone are inconsistent in placement/convenience to catch.
Poise –Has made some big time plays in key game situations (WVU, Texas 2018). Composure under pressure is effective to force a missed rusher. If he’s flushed up the pocket, he’s running. Willing to wait out a target when rolling away from pressure. Comfortable in the chaos.
Arm Strength –Compact delivery really generates a lot of torque, baseball background is evident and effective to create velocity. Easy thrower, capable of pushing the ball vertically, even when his base remains unset. Ball explodes off his hand and arrives with great pace and trajectory.
Pocket Awareness –Only time these reps are negative are when he gets greedy. Slides within the pocket naturally and is comfortable throwing off balance. Shows awareness of his throwing lanes and does well to alter his arm slot to work around pressure as best he can.
Mechanics –Sudden delivery allows him to shoot the ball out quickly under duress. Mobility can betray him at times, as variance in accuracy expands as he throws on the move outside the pocket. Will work in vast degrees of release point as needed but still generates velocity.
Footwork –Crisp, quick feet. Gets out of the snap smooth and is most effective sliding laterally within the pocket. Needs to have more intent to snap feet back to a balanced base, many of his accuracy lapses seem to come from casual lower half when he’s forced off his spot.
Mobility –Elite quality. Has explosive first step to break contain. Tears apart man coverage down the field with his speed and open field ability. OU ran him in speed option and zone read concepts as well with much success, will break contain on designed QB runs.
BEST TRAIT – Playmaking Ability
WORST TRAIT – Progressions (MOF specifically)
BEST FILM – Iowa State (2018)
WORST FILM – UCLA (2018)
RED FLAGS – Size/Durability Concerns
Kyler Murray is a fascinating NFL Draft prospect. His size presents limitations to consistently see intermediate breaks in the MOF and will pose an injury concern in the NFL. Murray has speed, escapability, a powerful throwing arm and enough general accuracy to allow gifted catch point receivers to adjust and ensure the catch. Murray is not a one size fits all prospect but in an offensive utilizing RPO/spread concepts, he can be an explosive weapon and effective starting QB.
Accuracy – Generally accurate, but ball placement and location still need work. Can force his receivers into adjustments on outside the number throws at times, rather than leading them to YAC. Pretty clean short-intermediate as a passer. Can put a little too much air on his deep ball at times, forcing receiver to slow up for the ball.
Decision-Making – Does he not see the field well or does he not care, instead opting to rely on his arm and dumb luck? Either way, Murray has to become a better decision maker in the NFL. Got away with a lot of decisions in the Big 12 that he wouldn’t have against better competition. Alabama flubbed a couple of interception opportunities. Not above frustration throws into coverage. While he has reckless moments, not a snap-to-snap issue and generally remains calm in a clean pocket to make the proper decision.
Mental Processing – Does not throw with anticipation very often, which can lead to a lot of balls in expiring windows. Flashes of progression work are encouraging for a first year starter, but can linger on his first read and doesn’t really have the awareness to look off safeties yet. Holds the ball for a long time and he can get away with it at Oklahoma because of his OL and zero opposing pass rush…things will need to speed up in the NFL.
Velocity/Arm Strength – Can drive the ball into tight windows with excellent velocity. Absolute whip to make high degree of difficulty throws. Can throw the ball for distance as well as any quarterback in the class. Excellent ability to vary touch and velocity as needed, just has to learn when to do each. Floats the ball at times when he should zip it. Great control over how much he’s putting on the ball as a vertical passer.
Pocket Presence – Typically does not see ghosts in the pocket, but at the first sign of pressure he’s often bailing. Has passed up open receivers to get out of the pocket and pick up what he can with his legs, sometimes wisely so. Opts for Plan B a little too quickly, will be harder to make that work consistently in the NFL. When he steps up, it’s almost always to run and not throw. So few instances of seeing him under pressures that it is hard to feel certain of any assessment of him in this area.
Mechanics – Mechanics are interesting. Doesn’t always have the proper footwork or follow through with his trail leg, yet still has the arm to hit near-hash and forward-facing targets. When he was forced to open to the sideline on the far hash, often threw so hard that he fell off his platform and lost accuracy/velocity. More consistent feet would aid him a lot. Release has moments of perfection, and others from more awkward-looking arm angles, but he makes that part work well.
Improvisation – Capable of achieving a good result despite a bad process due to his legs and ability to extend plays off platform. Can throw accurately from off platform and has the arm to make it work from a compromised base. Scrambling ability and burst as a runner are incredibly rare at the position. Elite athlete. Too reliant on this ability at times, when he could play more within structure.
Leadership/Work Ethic – Described as a leader by example by teammates. Not as vocal as Baker Mayfield was and not necessarily an alpha personality, which NFL teams will look into, but I don’t care about. Work ethic and competitive drive are obvious. Lingering questions about baseball will surround him for the foreseeable future.
Poise – Was absolutely rattled and skittish to begin the game against Alabama, settled in a little bit late in the game. That was by FAR the best defensive test he faced all year, on big stages in the Big 12 he seemed unfazed. Never faced copious amounts of pressure until Alabama.
Athleticism/Size – Unprecedented small stature in the modern era of football for a quarterback. Not only is he extremely short for the position, it would be an upset if he topped 200 pounds. Only three fumbles all of last season, which should stave off the hand size sticklers. Absolutely elite athlete who might be the fastest quarterback in the NFL, and certainly the most explosive in his first three steps.
BEST TRAIT – Athleticism/Arm Strength
WORST TRAIT – Decision-Making
RED FLAGS – None
What a wild ride it has been, but here we are. Kyler Murray is my QB1 in the abysmal 2019 quarterback class. No, Murray won’t have a first round grade from me, but he is a more exciting prospect than Dwayne Haskins with an admittedly lower floor. Murray’s arm talent and athleticism allow him to achieve good results even with a flawed and sometimes unsustainable process, revealing flashes of what could be if he becomes more adept from the neck up.
Right now Murray is a raw talent with elite athleticism and a nice arm, but playing quarterback takes a lot more than that. His burst and movement skills are jaw-dropping and will save him for awhile, but eventually he will need to develop the nuances of his game and perfect his mechanics, which will require a quarterback that is truly bought in to his growth and developmental as a football player.
If Murray is still flirting with a commitment to the game of baseball, his transition to the NFL may not work. It will be essential for teams to discover how invested he is in becoming a great quarterback, as well as vetting how his size and run-heavy playing style will limit his availability in the NFL. Murray’s evaluation and draft slot will be one of the most fascinating results of the 2019 draft. God help the teams in desperate need of a quarterback this year.
PROS: True playmaker. Can make almost any short/intermediate throw in and out of the pocket. Top-end short accuracy. Great athlete and he has an understanding of when to use it. Always a threat to make a big play with his legs. Consistent footwork leads to solid accuracy across the board. Above average touch, usually seen on his intermediate passes. Safe with the ball in his hands. Can balance making the big play on the run and keeping the ball off the ground.
Cons: Exceedingly small for his position, height and frame issues. Low arm angle and long throwing motion limits the throws he can make and results in batted balls at the line of scrimmage. Needs time in pocket to increase velocity. Fails to progress through all of his reads on a consistent basis. Can be too aggressive to leave the pocket at times. Doesn’t possess consistent deep accuracy, especially out of structure. Tendency to hesitate when pressured. Almost always reverts to safest read, even if it leaves yards on the field. Signed to play professional baseball.