AROUND THE NFL

BIGPLAY Breakout 2019: The Arizona Cardinals Edition

One player to watch potentially breakout on the 2019 Arizona Cardinals.

Photo Courtesy of NFL Network

Hello! Welcome back to our breakout series leading up to the 2019 NFL season. Here we are going to look at one player on every team in the NFL that is poised for a potentially massive year.

Some of them will be rookies, others will be second or third year guys that just haven’t put all the pieces together yet.

Today, we will be taking a look at the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards made a couple of surprising moves this offseason most of which had to do with drafting a historically small quarterback to lead their franchise into the future in Kyler Murray.

Personally, I liked Josh Rosen coming out of last years draft and I thought he kinda got a rough deal while playing behind one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines in 2018. No shade to Larry Fitzgerald but it’s not 2008 anymore and he doesn’t exactly scream top wide receiver these days. However, once they hired noted Kyler Murray believer in Kliff Kingsbury. One of the greatest cases of failing upward in NFL history. After compiling a near .500 record at Texas Tech and thusly being let go by the program, Kingsbury was subsequently hired as the Head Coach of USC and then later, the Cardinals.

We aren’t here to talk down on the coach or lament what could have been with last years quarterback though. We are here to talk about potential breakout star Kyler Murray. The Cardinals are in the process of undertaking what could be considered a pretty risky experiment. There’s some precedent in the NFL for shorter quarterbacks having high levels of success at the highest level. Look no further than perennial all-pro Drew Brees or a rising star like Baker Mayfield. Although Murray is shorter than the previous two mentioned, the real concern, at least in my mind is his slight build. There’s serious concern about whether his body can take the massive, back-breaking hits often delivered to quarterbacks.

Murray seemed to have put weight on before the combine but I’m not entirely sure he’ll actually hold on to that weight to play in once the season gets underway. There’s no question about his arm strength though, and he actually has above average deep ball accuracy. His biggest asset is his speed and he would have been well served as a five-tool player in the MLB, probably stealing upwards of 30 bases a season.

I think Murray can have an instant impact on this team’s offense and I’m really excited to see how some Big 12 elements of Kliff Kingsbury’s offense translate to the highest level. Hopefully Kyler can stay healthy enough all year for his showdown with fellow former Heisman and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield when the Browns play the Cardinals.

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