Arizona Cardinals: Top 3 reasons Clayton Tune can be ‘the guy’ for 2023 and beyond
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals may have gotten a steal when they drafted the University of Houston’s Clayton Tune in the fifth round last month.
While at this point, Kyler Murray looks like he is the inevitable starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, we also need to remember something: He has no ties to the Arizona Cardinals current regime.
And while Murray’s situation is different from that of other players in his large contract and the fact he is a former number one pick who has been to a couple of Pro Bowls, most new regimes want to ultimately use their own talent, and as it stands, that label rests with rookie quarterback, Clayton Tune. And despite the fact he’s a fifth-round pick, Tune might just be ‘the guy’ in the desert for 2023 and beyond.
Right now, and as my 53 man roster projection reflects, I’m being conservative with Tune, predicting him to be on the practice squad. But this by no means reflects that he will be there, nor does it mean I won’t tweak that prediction later.
So why could Tune end up being the guy this season? Here are three viable reasons.
Why Clayton Tune the next starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals
1 - The Cardinals have no viable backup quarterbacks
With Kyler Murray not likely to start the season, the Arizona Cardinals have what might be the most underwhelming slate of backups for a team that must start one. Sadly, neither Colt McCoy, Jeff Driskel, nor David Blough will take the team far.
We don’t know if Tune can do any better, but we know the latter three have played far more football than they ever should have during their respective careers. Yeah, they’re all proven backups; just don’t let them start too many games within a specific timeframe.
2 - Tune is a dual threat quarterback
Tune ran a 4.64 at the NFL Combine, and he backed that up with impressive statistics during his final season in college, having rushed for 544 yards as a senior, and 1,248 overall in 47 starts. While he finished with just 3.0 yards per carry, he also averaged 4.3 in 2022, showing us he can indeed extend plays and even pick up yardage on his own.
What’s more? Tune completed 68.3% and 67.3% of his passing attempts, respectively, over the previous two seasons, throwing for 7,618 yards, 70 touchdowns, and only 20 picks. His productivity speaks volumes, and it’s something he can continue at the next level.
3 - Tune has hordes of experience
One reason I was never a huge fan of the Kyler Murray pick is that he lacked college football experience, and drafting inexperienced players is always a risk. As for Tune, he’s seen time in 47 college games, and he grew progressively better between 2020 and 2022.
And sure, highly productive, highly experienced quarterbacks in college football might mean little to some, but Tune has no glaring physical limitations as a passer or as a runner. That will speak volumes when compared to other quarterbacks picked on Day 3.
Source: Do Cardinals Have NFL's Next Brock Purdy? By Donnie Druin, SI.com