Is Kyler Murray too small to be an elite NFL quarterback?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Kyler Murray
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Kyler Murray /

The Ringer’s Steven Ruiz recently suggested that the size of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is preventing him from flourishing in the NFL.

At 5-foot-10, Kyler Murray was the shortest quarterback in the entire NFL during the 2021 season. Despite his height, however, Murray has still managed to earn a Pro Bowl selection in two of the three years he’s been in the league, and last season, he helped the Arizona Cardinals reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

In 14 games last season, Murray completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 3,787 yards, 24 touchdowns, and five interceptions in addition to rushing for 423 yards and five touchdowns. He also set career-best marks for touchdown percentage (5.0), interception percentage (2.1), yards per attempt (7.9), passing yards per game (270.5), and passer rating (100.6).

An argument can easily be made that Murray is one of the 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL heading into the 2022 season. But some feel there is still something that is preventing the young signal-caller from being regarded as one of the league’s elite quarterbacks.

Is the size of Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray impacting his play on the field?

On a recent episode of The Ringer NFL Show, The RInger’s Steven Ruiz was asked about Murray’s current situation with the Cardinals in regards to the quarterback wanting a new deal from his current team.

"“I think [his situation] is weird, but I expected it to be weird because of the type of quarterback Kyler Murray is. He is very small [and] it’s affected him on the field. He has worn down every season he’s been on the field in the NFL. I don’t think you can discount the fact that he’s small.Like you could with Russell Wilson. Russell Wilson never got hurt, so the fact that he’s 5-foot-10 doesn’t matter.But with Kyler, it’s affecting his performance at the same point in the season every year. So I understand the trepidation or the hesitancy to give him a big deal. I think it’s going to get done, ultimately, like it did with Russell Wilson, who also had a weird contract negotiation.”"

So is Murray really being held back by his size? It’s possible, but some current and former NFL quarterbacks being able to achieve success in the league despite their small stature casts some doubt on this theory.

Ruiz mentioned Wilson, and former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was still able to break a number of NFL records during his career despite only being 6-feet tall. Fran Tarkenton, who was also 6-feet tall, still managed to put together a career in the league that resulted in him earning a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

So it has certainly been proven that an elite amount of success can still be achieved by a quarterback who is perceived by the public to be small.

Disregarding Murray’s potential to be elite because he’s smaller than the rest of the quarterbacks around the NFL seems a little (get ready for this) short-sighted. He’s only been in the league for three years and he’s made steps in the right direction during each of his seasons in the NFL.

Based on what he’s been able to do in the league so far, there’s no reason to think that his performance with Arizona in 2022 won’t continue to progress, regardless of his size.

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