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2019 NFL Draft: Who is Kyler Murray, the number one overall pick?

ANALYST
Feature
44   //    26 Apr 2019, 17:13 IST

Kyler Murray with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Kyler Murray with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

There were no surprises when the Arizona Cardinals drafted Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. Kliff Kingsbury's side weren't happy with Josh Rosen's production last season and wanted to move on.

The fact that the former Texas A&M offensive coordinator has been looking to recruit Murray since his sophomore year in high school only pointed towards Arizona selecting him with the first overall pick and that is what transpired. But who is Kyler Murray, and what does he bring into the equation for the NFC West franchise? Here's all that you need to know about Kyler Murray.

High school career

Attending the Allen High School in Allen, Texas, Murray led his team to three consecutive state championships. He went unbeaten throughout his time with Allen and finished with a record of 43-0 including a record of 42-0 as a starting quarterback.

Throughout the three years, Murray managed to complete more than 60% of his passes with his best completion rate coming in 2014 with 64.2% of passes completed. He also threw for 4,713 yards and 54 touch downs in his final year with Allen High School. Unsurprisingly, he was awarded the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014.

College career

Signing with the Texas A&M, Murray competed with Kyle Allen for the starting quarterback spot in his freshman year. However, Murray later transferred to the Sooners in the University of Oklahoma in 2015 and as a result of NCAA rules had to forego the 2016 season.

Murray also played baseball as a left fielder for the Sooners. After playing second fiddle to then starting quarterback Baker Mayfield in 2017, he finally got his opportunity to wreak havoc as the primary signal caller of the Sooners.

Not many people can claim to have been drafted by teams in multiple leagues. In the 2018 MLB Draft, Kyler was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 9th overall pick. The 21-year-old continued his football career after having promised to train with Oakland in spring.

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, however, went on to have a record year with the Sooners, leading them to the Orange Bowl before Oklahoma lost 34-45 to Alabama. Even in the loss, he managed to record 308 passing yards and two touch down passes. The 2018 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year completed 69% of his passes that year, throwing for 4,361 yards and 42 touch downs.

Player profile

The most impressive thing about Kyler Murray is the versatility he displays when it comes to throwing a football. He has an incredible range given his arm strength but the 21-year-old is equally adept at throwing short and mid-range passes across the most difficult of angles. His athleticism certainly helps here as it helps him finishing passes regularly while on the run.

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That Murray is ready to wait and bide his team to find the open man in the backfield is something that shows his mental resolve that is needed to perform at an elite level as a quarterback in the NFL. Having said that, he is not the best at evading rushing defenders and his 5'10 200lbs physique certainly doesn't help his case.

Murray is not one of the most experienced athletes either, but this could certainly act as an opportunity for Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury who would face lesser resistance from the player himself in case Kingsbury wants Murray to overhaul certain aspects of his play to better suit the roster at hand.

Conclusion

The Cardinals weren't happy with what they got from Josh Rosen last year and they did something about it. They have landed someone who seems to be a generational talent and could easily bring back the franchise to relevance in terms of playoff contention at the very least. Here's to hoping that Kyler Murray reaches the heights in the NFL that his current potential warrants.

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