Arizona Cardinals rookie film room: 5 plays that define Kyler Murray
By Avery Duncan
In the first Arizona Cardinals rookie film room, we look at five plays that define Kyler Murray as a player.
As one of the most polarizing prospects in recent NFL draft history, Kyler Murray has earned his fair share of critics and fans. Whether it be due to his height, lack of experience or play in the Oklahoma spread, many believe that the Arizona Cardinals reached for Murray by selecting at No. 1 overall, while others believe the exact opposite.
Although the Cardinals didn’t necessarily have a need at quarterback heading into the draft, they selected Murray with the top pick, and it’s not too hard to see why. Murray’s film is one of the more impressive reels I’ve seen from a quarterback in the past few drafts. By my perspective, it ranks in the Baker Mayfield/Sam Darnold/Patrick Mahomes/Deshaun Watson category – it’s just that impressive.
In 2018, Murray passed for an outstanding 4,364 yards and 42 touchdowns to just seven interceptions on a 69% completion rate. He also ran for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns. His dual-threat ability was a key part of winning a Heisman. Pro Football Focus graded his final year at an elite 94.6 and ranked him as the top player in the draft.
Per PFF, Murray’s adjusted completion rate of 78.9% ranks second in the class; so does his adjusted completion rate against the blitz (76.6%). Though he’s one of the more accurate passers in the draft, he’s not a game manager; he pushes the ball down the field at an alarming rate, his 12.0 average depth per target proves that, per PFF.
However, analytics, despite how far they’ve come and how accurate they can be, can’t describe Kyler Murray as a quarterback. But the film does. After watching hours of play against shoddy Big-12 defenses, the list of “wow” plays was narrowed down to five (that wasn’t easy) in order to show what Murray brings to the table.