It doesn’t matter if a team drafts a quarterback in the first round or in the seventh round, they will always bring intrigue if their incumbent starter is not fully established. And unfortunately, this is the case for the Arizona Cardinals, as Kyler Murray has yet to cross into the elite quarterback threshold.
Fortunately, Murray can still break in, but he may need to stave off an upstart rookie in Clayton Tune, who the Cards drafted in the fifth round in April. While Tune wasn’t a household name like Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, he was impressive in the offseason and that trend looks like it’s continuing early in camp.
Now that it’s clear that Tune is making a name for himself, what can we expect from the rookie throughout camp and into the preseason? Let’s make some bold predictions regarding the Cardinals newest quarterback.
3 bold predictions for Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Clayton Tune
1 - Clayton Tune excels in his first preseason game
Clayton Tune should enjoy substantial playing time in the Arizona Cardinals first preseason game vs. the Denver Broncos. In that game, Tune completes 65% of his passes and throws for a pair of touchdowns, while running for another.
While he likely won’t see any complicated blitz packages and he definitely won’t face the starting defense, such an epic performance will serve as a major confidence booster. When Arizona faces the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2, Tune should see even more action.
2 - Tune’s performance gives him an extended look with the starters
Head coach Jonathan Gannon will let Tune parlay his remarkable performance in Week 1 into seeing extended time with the starters during team drills in camp. This will let the rookie see more complex setups and when he plays well, Tune might just see some time during the “dress rehearsal game” against the Chiefs.
Once again, Tune plays well enough to keep warranting more looks from Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing. Further, his performance vs. the Chiefs will rival that of McCoy’s, setting him up to win the job outright.
3 - Tune edges out Colt McCoy for the starting job
Tune’s performances mean the quarterback competition between him and Colt McCoy will linger into the final week of preseason, and perhaps even into the final game. Either way, the rook will put up one more solid week of camp and edge out the aging McCoy for the gig.
While it’s highly unlikely Tune keeps the job when Kyler Murray returns, he will at least get more than his fair share of experience as a starter at the NFL level. Ideally, he becomes a great backup to Murray, and can be more than serviceable if called upon to play.