Arizona Cardinals: Major network ranks Murray in Top 10 in three different categories

As Kyler Murray continues to inch his way back to the playing field, ESPN remains high on the polarizing Arizona Cardinals quarterback.
Aug 11, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks on
Aug 11, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks on / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray may be polarizing, but he’s still one of the NFL’s most talented quarterbacks. And the NFL experts at ESPN agree, as they ranked Murray in the Top 10 in three distinct categories - second-reaction, rushing, and arm strength. 

Murray also received votes in pocket presence, field vision, mechanics, and accuracy, and when the experts revisit the rankings this time next season, there is a good chance that the Cardinals signal caller sneaks his way into a few more Top 10 rankings. So was it surprising to see Murray grace the upper-echelon in the three categories mentioned above? Keep reading for my take on the subject. 

Arizona Cardinals QB ranks in Top 10 in three distinct categories

1 - Second-Reaction

I was surprised to see Murray ranked eighth here, as I felt he deserved a higher second-reaction ranking. To put things in layman's terms, this is basically measuring a quarterback’s ability to make unconventional throws and still complete them to receivers downfield, and it’s one of Murray’s greatest attributes. 

While I felt Murray was ranked too low, I didn’t feel he deserved the top ranking, which unsurprisingly went to Patrick Mahomes. Josh Allen ended up taking the second spot, and he’s the only one on that list who I felt could have legitimately challenged Mahomes for the top spot. 

2 - Rushing

We have seen Murray do some incredible things with his legs in the past, and it was on full display in the Arizona Cardinals Week 2 win at the Las Vegas Raiders. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Murray took fifth in these rankings, though his return from a torn ACL may cause him to fall when ESPN revisits them next season. Despite potentially not being the same scrambler he was, however, I’m still expecting Murray to land in the Top 10 for 2024.

Lamar Jackson took the top spot, which should surprise no one, followed by Jalen Hurts. Anthony Richardson, who ranked one slot behind Murray, was a major surprise, considering his overall lack of NFL experience.

3 - Arm Strength

Murray ranked 10th in this category, and while he is one of the NFL’s smallest quarterbacks, we’ve seen him show off his arm strength time and again, often when he was forced to improvise and make throws off his back foot. This season, with Murray coming off of his injury, we may see him scrambling less and opting to see if he can fit passes into tight windows, further showing off that arm strength. 

Josh Allen took the top ranking, which was no surprise at all. But I was once again surprised to see Anthony Richardson taking the sixth spot here before he’s even thrown an official NFL pass or had even seen time in something other than a preseason game.


Source: NFL Quarterback Council 2023: Ranking top 10 QBs by trait by NFL Experts, ESPN