Kyler Murray may have had his lean moments, and there have been times when many in the Red Sea have wanted to give up on the Arizona Cardinals quarterback. His ACL tear and subsequent rehab may indicate that Murray won’t be the same type of dual threat he once was, but perhaps he doesn’t need to be.
While many associated Murray with his ability to escape the pocket and move the chains with his legs, he can also do so with throwing the deep ball. Check out this mind-boggling stat from PFF:
"“Across 2020 and 2021, Kyler Murray was the NFL’s premier deep passer. On throws of 20-plus yards, Murray posted a league-leading 98.8 passing grade and a 37.4% big-time throw rate. 2022 was a different story, though. Kyler Murray posted a 48.5 passing grade on deep throws this past season, third worst among 39 quarterbacks who threw at least 20 deep balls.” "- Dalton Wasserman
Source: One stat to know for all 32 NFL teams before the 2023 season by Dalton Wasserman, PFF
Arizona Cardinals quarterback can throw the long ball
While Murray’s numbers tailed off in 2022, as the quote above indicated, history has also shown that he can create huge plays with his arm. And I won’t be one to hold Murray’s 2022 numbers against him - sure, he was terrible last season, but when a team finishes 4-13, they were collectively an abysmal on-field product.
Luckily for Murray, he will have a diverse and talented group of pass-catchers to work with, including a pair of big-bodied receivers who can win jump-ball situations in Zach Pascal and Michael Wilson. Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, and Greg Dortch can beat just about anyone deep, and there is also the sure handed Trey McBride at tight end.
If Murray can still escape the pocket and roll out, then expect him to once again rear back and create dazzling plays with his arm. The numbers indicated in the above quote show us that the soon-to-be fifth-year quarterback doesn’t need to be a dual threat.
Murray can be one of the NFL’s most efficient passers once more. And the run-first offense we’re seeing offensive coordinator Drew Petzing install could create many downfield opportunities for Murray if the running game holds up its end of the bargain.
If Murray indeed returns in Week 1 or following the first four games of the season, then don't count out this Arizona Cardinals offense. They might just surprise you even if Murray doesn't run the ball quite like he used to.