So the folks at Pro Football Focus wrote a thing.
The article, which can be found here, ranks all 32 starting quarterbacks entering the 2021 season. Again, not to be confused with building blocks moving forward, rather who they believe are the top signal callers for 2021 alone.
Third year Cardinal quarterback, Kyler Murray, checks in at 17th overall:
Murray took a nice step forward in Year 2, raising his passing grade by over 16 points and adding 822 yards on the ground. The Cardinals did well to utilize his skill set, as his rushing stats were a mix of designed quarterback runs and scrambles.
With the NFC West being as competitive as ever, Arizona continues to do a good job building around Murray. However, the signal-caller has to show more development in the intermediate passing (10-19 yards) game, where he ranked 24th while in rhythm. It’s an area where he can raise his level of play and make the players around him better.
Murray ranks below players such as Ben Roethlisberger (16), Justin Herbert (15), Kirk Cousins (14), Derek Carr (13), Ryan Tannehill (12), Matthew Stafford (11) and Baker Mayfield (10).
With all due respect to the find folks at Pro Football Focus, outside of perhaps Justin Herbert, there’s not a signal caller ranked within this group that their respective team would not swap straight up with Kyler Murray for 2021.
- The Steelers attempted to force Big Ben into retirement before making him take a pay cut for the 2021 season.
- Kirk Cousins is everyone’s purgatory quarterback and the Vikings were poised to draft Justin Fields last month.
- Jon Gruden has been dying to ship Derek Carr out of town since he arrived.
- Ryan Tannehill just lost his Offensive Coordinator as well as his second (Corey Davis) and third (Jonnu Smith) receivers.
- Matthew Stafford is 33 learning a new system in the vaunted NFC West.
- Unlike the Ravens and Bills, the Cleveland Browns have not begun contract extension talks with Baker Mayfield.
While I confess that Kyler Murray has yet to reach the “elite” QB status, I do believe he belongs somewhere between 6-12 when ranking NFL signal callers.
The majority of questions surrounding Murray have less to do with his physical ability and more to do with the infrastructure that surrounds him. He is led by an unproven head coach in Kliff Kingsbury and resides in perhaps the toughest division seen in decades (NFC West). For those reasons alone, until proven otherwise, it will be difficult for the former Heisman winner to consistently produce winning seasons.
With that said, Murray finished his 2020 sophomore campaign with 37 total touchdowns and 4800 total yards. Both of those totals surpass even the best years from players like Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr.
Kyler Murray’s 2021 weaponry (AJ Green, Rondale Moore, James Conner...Zach Ertz?) and offensive line play (Rodney Hudson) should also surpass anything he’s seen in each of his first two seasons.
If I were a betting man, I’d lean on Kyler Murray firmly solidifying himself as a top 5-7 quarterback this season.