Comps – Low/Medium/High
Low/Medium/High: Johnny Manziel (Low) – Michael Vick (Medium) – Russell Wilson (High)
Remember what everyone wanted Johnny Manziel to be? Blazing fast. Remarkably elusive. Cannon arm that could hit every throw. Brass balls and the resolve to try any throw from anywhere. Kyler Murray is that and more. The only caveat with Murray is his size. Sitting firmly under 6″” with no guides for success, Murray is a new mold of quarterback that has not been tried at the pro level. The closest successful comparions that can be found is Russell Wilson, but even Wilson does not do justice to Murray’s ability with his legs. Despite his athletic supremacy in a lackluster conference (defensively, at least), Murray makes throws with a controlled chaos that replicates what his predecessor did. Murray can’t manipulate space or move through options with the same pace that Baker Mayfield did for the Sooners, but he has taken many elements of Mayfield’s game and transformed them to work with his style. Murray has the same sixth sense for pressure, which he easily evades. He turns defensive linemen into dogs chasing cars with the ease with which he moves around the backfield. Murray’s play extension skills and backyard style may seem tough to translate at a first glance, but there is much more nuance to his play than meets the eye. He loves to push for big plays and sling it deep, but Murray can reach his secondary and tertiary reads when given ample time from his offensive line. All he needs is an opening and he’ll carve up defenses through the air or on the ground. His ball placement isn’t precise, but Murray keeps it safe from encroaching defenders thanks to his excellent understanding of WR-DB leveraging. His timing fluctuates, but there is great touch on a high percentage of his throws. Some evaluators will question his mechanics due to his baseball background and occasional lapses with sidearming throws, but he has one of the most efficient and controlled setups in the class. As long as the throws aren’t affected by hands at the line of scrimmage there should be no issues when throwing from a stable platform.
Reads & Decisions
Progressions aren’t at an elite level, but he works beyond his first read at a functional rate. Trusts his arm and has no qualms with unleashing passes. Tendency to seek out the big play leaves him missing out on easier targets underneath. Willing to take risks in tough coverages rather than search for other options. Throws with beautiful anticipation when defenses tighten up. Improvisational ability is game-breaking. Doesn’t pull defenders with his eyes often enough. Has shown he can find checkdowns if needed. Keeps his eyes up when working towards the sideline; has a passer first mentality. Dynamic in every area. Doesn’t second guess himself after making a decision. Ball is out before the route break on many occasions. Finds creative solutions to problems. Showed mastery over Oklahoma O.
Accuracy & Ball Placement
Short game placement is inconsistent. Accuracy is more general than specific downfield, and it opens up room for defensive backs to make plays at the catch point. Flashes tremendous touch over the top of linebackers in the intermediate. Deep ball is a mixed bag, and it should not be trusted to find the mark at this point in his career. Attacks against the leveraging of defensive backs. Understands where the ball needs to go, even if it isn’t always placed on the money. Potential to throw a good ball from any body position is enticing. Hits the back shoulder throws like a veteran. High/low volatility is caused largely by ever-changing mechanics. Control with ball trajectory prevents batted passes galore; feathers throws over pass-rushers. Puts the ball in places where only his receivers complete it.
Pocket Awareness & Scrambling
Size is an immediate red flag that will pull him off of boards for some teams; no model of success to follow for his size. Explosive running ability allows him to turn on the jets for big plays. Spots lanes to scramble through and capitalizes on them immediately. Brought down on first contact every time; can’t fight through arm tackles. Climbs the pocket to avoid backside pressure. Overshadowed by the chaos when he steps up. Stop/start is great. Can change directions with instant cuts. Footwork is as fast as you’d expect for a quarterback with his agility; can adjust his base at breakneck pace. Comfortable throwing from a moving platform; delivers strikes while going full speed. Will need to be masterful with his positioning to find passing lanes. May need schemed into space as a passer.
Mechanics & Throwing Motion
Steps through on his deep shots to maximize his arm strength. Angles his feet properly towards the target and sets his aim. Compactness does wonders for his release; crisp and fast getting the ball out. Excellent at altering arm angles to avoid interference with his throws. Release point is going to get a fair amount of passes batted; coaches will need to learn to live with it for him. Sometimes “”does it just because he can””; will sacrifice process for results at unnecessary times. Can get ball out with a wrist flick if forced to. Will need an offense tailor-made to his style; takes 3-5 step drops from shotgun to help vision. Loves to sidearm screens and endanger the completion. Feet are always bouncing and ready to make adjustments; great at shifting platform and settling back in.
Big time arm is capable of ripping it 55+ with plenty of arc. Has no trouble getting air underneath the football and dropping passes in the bucket at the far ends of the field. Has the potential to make every throw regardless of the difficulty. Ball comes out with plenty of zip; good rotational rate. Brings a lot of his power from his base rather than trying to go all arm. Can change his mechanics without seeing a noticeable dip in velocity. Window throws aren’t difficult to get through, especially considering his anticipatory throwing skills. Outfield to home plate arm strength even when moving full speed. Had a remarkable throw against Alabama where he hit 55 yards at a full speed sprint up the pocket. Throws on a rope when his fastball is required. Ball never dies on him without intention.
Character & Injury Concerns
Dual-sport athlete who runs the risk of jumping ship to baseball upon facing adversity.