Now I’d like to talk about the parts of Aaron Murray’s game that impress me:
Murray’s underappreciated as an athlete. As a ballcarrier he’s no Colin Kaepernick, but he’s faster and savvier than he’s sometimes given him credit for. He didn’t run at the NFL Combine or UGA’s Pro Day, but he’s previously registered a 40 time in the low-4.7 range. Should he find himself in trouble in the NFL, he’s nifty enough to elude a defender and gain yardage once he breaks the pocket.
Here, he leaves the pocket on a designed run and is able to split two defensive backs and angle away from another on his way to a 57-yard run:
I know you’ve probably heard by now that Murray has a limited arm. It’s probably unlikely that one article will change your mind, but I believe he’s capable of making every NFL throw. Watch this throw he makes in a 2012 game against Alabama. He sets up at his own 22-yard line and makes a throw that travels 40 yards through the air. The pass, from the middle of the field, ends up on the right boundary. That outside-the-numbers throw requires a certain amount of zip. Quarterbacks with weak arms struggle to throw that pass accurately. I’m not sure the noodle-arm jabs I’ve heard over the past few days actually fit Murray.
Another, from 7 yards deep in his own end zone. Pay close attention to where the receiver is when he hauls it in. By my count, that’s a 46-yard throw (through the air).
Pocket Presence, Recognition, & Decision Making
Having a feel for the pocket is a prerequisite for a successful quarterback in the National Football League. A pocket can collapse in as little as three seconds. Quarterbacks who succeed at this level are able to sense the pressure around them and slide their feet to avoid pressure. On this play, Murray has two defenders closing in on his right side. A third later appears, but he calmly climbs the pocket, keeps his eyes downfield, and completes a long throw.
Here’s another play where Murray’s recognition helped him avoid a sack. Murray quickly notices the stunt and retreats outside of the tackle box to give himself time to make the throw. He’s on the move, but he’s able to find his target and lead him to a vacant part of the end zone for a touchdown.
I’m not here to sell you any magic beans. As with any other prospect, Murray’s not without his concerns. Although, he’s in a great situation here in Kansas City. Reid is very well known for maximizing the talent of the young quarterbacks he’s worked with. He’s well suited to the offensive system and he won’t be thrust onto the field in year one. If he can’t succeed here, as the eventual starter of this football team, that’ll make a significant statement about his ability to handle the job. For now, hope springs eternal. I think Aaron Murray is the best quarterback prospect the Chiefs have drafted in a long, long time.
Could I be right about Aaron Murray or am I making too much of a player taken in the bottom-half of the fifth-round? Is there merit to the NFL comparisons he’s drawn, or is he being carelessly lumped in with successful quarterbacks of the same stature? Use the comment section below to chime in. As always, We appreciate your readership and support.
Until next time, Addicts!