Kyler Murray takes bigger jump than expected in 2021 NFL Top 100

(Photo by Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports) Kyler Murray
(Photo by Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports) Kyler Murray /

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has earned a spot on the annual NFL Top 100 list for the second year in a row.

After previously coming in as the 90th-best player in 2020 following his rookie season, the second-year Arizona Cardinals quarterback out of Oklahoma made a big jump to No. 39 on this year’s NFL Top 100 list. Kyler Murray joins fellow Cardinals teammate J.J. Watt on the list, who ended up ranked 66th.

DeAndre Hopkins is the only remaining Arizona player that will appear on the list and it will definitely bring some heated debate as to who may rank ahead of him.

Back to Murray though, a quarterback that had two seasons in one last year. A near MVP candidate before the bye-week and then a shell of himself in the second half of the year. How did last year’s performance get him to move up 51 spots? The list is voted on by NFL players after all, but Murray’s ranking is just slightly too high.

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray deserves spot on NFL Top 100, but not that high

Before the crazy comments come flying in, I am glad Murray is the Cardinals quarterback as it could be much, much worse. But his No. 39 ranking felt more like a buddy-buddy kind of vote. Murray didn’t really improve in passing the ball in 2020 and his interceptions stayed the same at 12 each year.

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He was a lethal rushing option in the early part of the season until he injured his shoulder in a Week 9 loss to the Miami Dolphins. While this increase in Murray’s ranking is most likely due to his rushing yards, most of them were empty calories towards the end of the season. A more reasonable ranking probably would have been in the mid to upper 40s.

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Hence when looking at both qualitative and quantitative stats, it just comes a bit surprising that Murray made that jump. If he can be more consistent down the stretch in 2021 by staying healthy, then his ranking will only increase the next time ballots are cast.