Grading the Arizona Cardinals quarterback unit for 2023

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Last month, we analyzed each position group on the Arizona Cardinals. Now that we have more insights, it’s time to slap a letter grade to each.

Like many position groups, critics talking about the Arizona Cardinals haven’t failed to castigate the quarterbacks, even if there is more to like here than what meets the eye. For one, what’s not to say Kyler Murray returns and plays like the number one overall pick the Redbirds thought they were getting when they selected the undersized passer in 2019?

Even if Murray can’t return this season, or doesn’t return until late, there is always Clayton Tune to look forward to. Sure, he’s a fifth round pick, but it’s not like we haven’t seen Day 3 picks come out and succeed as rookies before, and Tune possesses more than a few intangibles that could make him the next impressive rookie quarterback selected on Day 3.

Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks are better than many believe in 2023

I’ll let everyone else say that the group’s success hinges on Murray’s return and subsequent performances. But I’ll say that Tune has the potential to be a successful quarterback in the run-first system the Cardinals plan to operate, especially if that system further favors tight ends when he would inevitably need to drop back and pass the ball. 

It’s true that there is nothing to get excited about in Colt McCoy, David Blough, and Jeff Driskel, though McCoy’s experience and knowledge of the game would only benefit Tune. That said, McCoy has more value than many believe if the Cards opted to start Tune in Week 1. 

Based on Murray’s talents and the productivity he’s shown when healthy, Tune’s potential, and McCoy’s underappreciated value, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback room deserves at least a passing grade, and I’ll give it a C heading into the season, with room for that grade to dramatically increase. 

We know Murray can produce when healthy, especially during the earlier portions of the season. If he matures as well as we think he is these days and learns leadership skills, that alone will bump up the letter grade. You can consider it a bonus if Murray returns and plays the way he did during the first half of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. 

The grade will also increase if Tune comes out and at least manages the game well. As a rookie drafted on Day 3, that’s likely all Jonathan Gannon and Company will ask him to do. Therefore, the Redbirds quarterback room could be much better than many realize.