Size doesn’t always matter, especially when the stats are loaded!
I’m old enough to remember when there was serious hesitation from just about everyone is taking a QB who was under 6’ tall number one overall in the 2019 draft. It was one of the staple offseason debates. The sample size in the NFL of QBs who were around that size was few and far between. The names which would always make an appearance in these arguments were Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, who are both future Hall of Famers. It was a fair concern to have, that Kyler Murray would struggle in the NFL due to his size.
The Arizona Cardinals put all their chips in this basket, though, and took Kyler Murray number one overall in the 2019 draft. So far it looks like a strong pick, but I’m personally surprised at how little attention he’s getting. For all the controversy surrounding Murray translating to the NFL, his current success is being heavily overshadowed. I’d like to shed some light on it.
Kyler Murray does this a few times a game. Special player. pic.twitter.com/mTVoFxhU90
— KP 🏁 (@KP_Show) November 19, 2019
How Does He Size Up?
There are 10-12 names that people have in their minds when they think of ‘Greatest Rookie QB Season’. The likes of Cam Newton, RGII and Andrew Luck come to mind, among others. I want to see how Murray sizes up to these timeless rookie seasons. I have the average season stat line for the top 10 best rookie QB seasons according to thesportsdrop.com. Here’s the line…
Kyler Murray has joined Deshaun Watson (2017-18), Cam Newton (2011) and Daunte Culpepper (2000) as the only QBs in NFL history with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts. pic.twitter.com/lYxPXRHxWW
— Arizona Cardinals ⋈ (@AZCardinals) November 10, 2019
3662 Pass Yards 22 TDs 14 INTs 328 Rush Yards 4 TDs
Now here’s Murray’s current stat line…
2703 Pass Yards 14 TDs 5 INTS 418 Rush Yards 3 TDs
Murray still has six games left in the season. I’m not saying Murray is the greatest rookie QB to have played the game but by the end of the season, he will have a top 10 rookie season ever. I would say he certainly sizes up to these giants. I think it’s even more impressive at his size and I think there should be more attention paid to him.
— Arizona Cardinals ⋈ (@AZCardinals) November 17, 2019
His Situation IRL
Kyler Murray is in a situation that is being designed for him to succeed. First overall pick, rookie head coach, offense created for his particular skill set; it’s a dream scenario for a young QB. His production and stats have not translated to wins quite yet but he’s not the only player on his team. The team as a whole has a lot of work ahead of them to improve, particularly on the offensive line and the defense.
As a real-life team, the Cardinals are on the right track in rebuilding. They’re gaining blue-chip players, the most important being Murray. They have a young core of talented skill position players. Give them a few years and they may really be onto something.
The Cardinals don’t have to be successful in real life for Kyler Murray to be a great fantasy QB. He’s the number five ranked fantasy QB right now, in his rookie year. He’s getting more comfortable every week in this offense. The fantasy outlook for Kyler Murray is very bright at the moment, in redraft and especially in dynasty. According to fantasydata.com, Kyler Murray currently has 219.9 fantasy points. He has six more games to play and could easily land himself in the history books with some of these greats.
Rookie QBs have not produced elite fantasy numbers in recent years, as Dak Prescott is the only player in the last 5 seasons to finish as a QB1 in his rookie season.
However, those that have had success have been able to run the ball, which Kyler Murray did a lot of in college. pic.twitter.com/iMLsYrkqpx
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 13, 2019
Let’s Wrap This Up
Kyler Murray has quieted any haters that he once had. He’s on pace to have one of the greatest rookie statistical seasons in NFL history. He should be a top ROY candidate. He’s defying the critics and I believe it’s not being talked about nearly enough.