Everyone knew Kyler Murray could be something special coming out of Oklahoma in 2018-19, when the 5-foot-10 quarterback threw for 4,361 yards and 42 yards, en route to winning the Heisman trophy. Then came the 2019 NFL Draft where Kliff Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals drafted Murray with the number one overall pick. This came as no surprise as Kingsbury was interviewed months before saying if he had the chance, he would take Murray number one in the draft.
How Good Can Murray Be?
Murray proved that he could continue his college success in this rookie season, thriving in Kingsbury’s air-raid offense. Murray won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, throwing for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns with a rating of 87.4. He also proved that he could be a dual-threat quarterback rushing for 544 yards and four touchdowns. But how good can Murray become? Is there a possibility that Murray can throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards? If he would be able to reach this incredible feat, he would be the first quarterback in NFL history to do so.
Even though his rookie season was not perfect, the upside and potential are clearly there. Murray and new New England quarterback Cam Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 out of Auburn, were the only rookie quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 3,5000 yards and run for at least 500 yards.
Although the Cardinals only went 5-10-1, they were lead by a rookie quarterback and a rookie head coach that they got from college. Their defense and the offensive line were suspect at times, and besides having a veteran Larry Fitzgerald catching passes, did not have a real threat on offense. Murray was able to put up those high numbers without a real star on their offense.
Addition of DeAndre Hopkins
This is why Arizona traded for one of the best wide receivers in the league, All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins. Murray now has a tremendous weapon to work within the offense, with Hopkins coming in looking for another 1,000 yard-season as he posted them the past three seasons with Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson. With the addition of Hopkins, he and Murray can be a deadly duo and create one of the best offenses in the league. Having both Hopkins and Fitzgerald will bold well for Murray, as they will both draw defenders away from each other. Even at Fitzgerald’s age, he can still put up solid numbers, as he put up 804 yards last season.
There was a ton of inexperience among the wide receiver core, as three of their top four wide receivers were younger than 23. Hopkins can help Murray’s offensive numbers look even better, good enough for Murray to get a Pro Bowl nod in his second season. Also with the improvement of Arizona’s running game with Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmunds, Murray won’t be forced to pass the ball so much.
According to Cardinals.com, Arizona has the league’s most improved offense. This is a big feat, and with the team continuing to improve their roster and develop their players, their offense should be even better next season. The Cardinals are hoping Murray can be somewhat like Rusell Wilson as a dual-threat quarterback and can lead their team to a Super Bowl one day, and maybe even win an MVP along the way.
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