Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray can end the 2023 season as a top five QB in the NFC

As bad as things got for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, he can ironically end the 2023 season as a top quarterback in the conference.
Arizona Cardinals v Las Vegas Raiders
Arizona Cardinals v Las Vegas Raiders / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

Kyler Murray had it rough in 2022, and he is most likely going to make his 2023 debut around midseason since there is no need to rush back from his torn ACL amidst a projected rebuilding year. However, it’s also important for Murray to get some reps in for what will be a new-look Arizona Cardinals offense, so you can expect him to play this year. 

And for Murray, the Cardinals picked the right season for a rebuild, considering how weak the NFC is at quarterback at the moment. For a visual, check out this list of projected starters in the conference in no particular order.

  • Dak Prescott
  • Jalen Hurts
  • Daniel Jones
  • Sam Howell
  • Jordan Love
  • Jared Goff
  • Kirk Cousins
  • Justin Fields
  • Baker Mayfield
  • Bryce Young
  • Desmond Ridder
  • Derek Carr
  • Geno Smith
  • Brock Purdy
  • Matthew Stafford

Other than Prescott and Hurts, who else is there? Jones is overrated, Howell is a stopgap, Love is in his first year as a starter, Goff is above average but he needs playmakers around him, and so does Cousins. Fields is fun to watch, but he has yet to win consistently, while Mayfield is nothing more than a journeyman at this point. 

Bryce Young is a rookie who will experience growing pains, while Desmond Ridder has a limited ceiling and is probably nothing more than a stopgap. Derek Carr is on the downside of his career, and Geno Smith, at this point, is a one-year wonder. 

Brock Purdy looked good last season, but is he really one of the most underrated quarterback prospects in NFL history, or is his success more of a product of the team and system he’s in? And finally, we don’t know what the aging Stafford will look like health-wise. 

Arizona Cardinals QB can end 2023 in the Top 5 at his position in the NFC

You take one look at this list, and you can agree that it’s a turbulent bunch outside Hurts and Prescott. Sure, there is potential, as Fields, Love, Young, and Purdy could all make leaps and bounds. Smith could be more than a one-year wonder, while Carr can show he still has what it takes to be a starter in this league, and the same goes for Cousins. 

But at this point, we know Murray can and has won games with his arm and with his legs. Coming back from a torn ACL, we can expect him to try and win games with his arm. 

And in a run-first offense that will suit his talents, Murray may find himself more than just excelling. I’ve long criticized the 25-year-old for failing to elevate talent around him, but in a system tailored around his strengths, Murray could perhaps finally break through that threshold. And if that’s the case, then he could easily sneak his way back into the top five as far as the NFC goes. 

There isn’t a better season for him to return to form and elevate the offense, given the young players and cast-offs comprising the Arizona Cardinals roster. And if Murray takes that step, then don’t be surprised if analysts and experts once again place him into the NFC’s, and perhaps even the NFL’s upper echelon of quarterbacks.