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Is it Kyler Murray or bust?

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Give me Kyler Murray, or give me a cold one while we wait for 2020.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma
Give me Murray or give me a cold one while we wait for 2020.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Let me start by saying I know John Elway will not do what it would probably take to draft Kyler Murray. Heck, I’m fairly confident he’d pass on Murray if the 5’10 200 lb phenom slid to 10. This is the same GM that still clings to this antiquated idea that a shorter quarterback is going to have trouble under center, while ignoring Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Baker Mayfield’s success with just that.

During the 2018 playoffs Drew Brees threw more touchdowns from under center than in the shotgun.

Now that we got that out of the way, let me tell you that I’ve now looked at every draftable quarterback in the 2019 QB class. For this week’s GIF Horse I’m releasing my final board, but the longer I’ve thought about it, the more I’d like to amend what I wrote back in March. The Broncos shouldn’t pass on a 2019 quarterback if (and only if) it’s Murray they’re after. He’s the one signal caller in this class that both A) fits the Scangarello offense and B) could step in as a clear upgrade over Joe Flacco.

I’ll admit that up ‘til now it’s been a foregone conclusion for so long that Murray was going first overall that I’d never fully considered him as an option. I’m not so confident in Murray that I’d give up the farm in order to make a deal with the Arizona Cardinals for Murray at one. But if he falls?

Murray’s probably still going first overall, but if Arizona takes Quinnen Williams or (especially) Nick Bosa there’s a pretty good chance Lynch is receptive to offers for team’s trying to move up. If Q and Bosa go 1-2, it’s been reported for months that the Jets are looking to grab picks and move back in the first.

If that scenario played out, the Broncos should pick up the phone.

Murray is the kind of revolutionary dual threat that perfectly blends mobility with arm strength, accuracy, and the ability to preserve his body.

The more I’ve studied Murray, the more certain I’ve become that he’d fit the new offense Rich Scangarello is installing. His mobility would create cutback opportunities for Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. The ability to launch the ball on the move or take off with 4.3 speed would create either/or conflicts for opposing defenses, which would open up the intermediate areas of the field for DaeSean Hamilton, Emmanuel Sanders and the Broncos tight ends. Murray’s arm strength is the best in this class and would open up the deep opportunities for Courtland Sutton.

Murray would probably push Flacco to the bench in year one and hit Broncos Country harder than an Ed Oliver sack. He also has the highest ceiling of any player in this QB class by a country mile. That isn’t just my eyes talking, but every single analytical site I’ve looked at since draft season began.

The NFL Is Drafting Quarterbacks All Wrong | FiveThirtyEight

Kyler Murray sits comfortably at the top with a 97 percent probability of being an above-average pro quarterback. Murray’s physical and statistical production comps with Russell Wilson are especially striking. Wilson and Murray had roughly the same yards per attempt in college, identical average depth of target and similar Total QBR.9 Both are also under 6 feet tall and played baseball at a high level. As far as comps go for short QBs, you really can’t do any better.

Murray isn’t just a scrambler who excels working outside of the pocket and on broken plays, either. According to the ESPN Stats & Information Group, 91 percent of Murray’s 377 pass attempts in 2018 came inside the pocket, and 81.6 percent of those throws were on target and catchable. Murray faced five or more defensive backs on 82 percent of his passing attempts and threw a catchable pass 78.8 percent of the time. Against nickel and dime packages, he was even better when blitzed, with 79.1 percent of his passes charted as catchable when the defense brought pressure. And Murray didn’t just check down to the outlet receiver when the other team sent heat. Kyler pushed the ball downfield at depths of 20 yards or greater 21 percent of the time vs. a blitzing defender.

These advanced stats tell us which 2019 NFL QB prospects will be good - SBNation.com

There is no doubting who the most statistically impressive quarterback in college football was last season. Murray somehow managed to trump Mayfield’s un-trumpable stats at OU, joining 2015 Deshaun Watson as the only QBs to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season. He did it in one fewer game than Watson, too.

QBASE 2019 | Football Outsiders

Despite the lack of experience, and the small penalty for playing in good situations, both Haskins and Murray had outstanding production, which puts them among the top QBASE projections ever for players with less than three years of starting experience. Haskins ranked fourth in FBS in all three of the stats that QBASE uses to measure production. Murray was even better; he broke Baker Mayfield’s record with 13.0 adjusted passing yards per attempt.

QB Functional Mobility Model 2019 | Football Outsiders

Kyler Murray is this year’s wild card. He has our highest projection thanks to a 67.4 percent completion rate and a whopping 7.1 rushing yards per attempt. In addition, he won the 2018 Heisman Trophy, and the Arizona Cardinals may select him first overall.

While Kyler Murray is a riskier proposition than Baker Mayfield was coming out in 2018, I’d rather chase the guy who passes the eyeball and numbers tests. No other QB does that for me. Quite frankly, I’d rather roll with Flacco and Hogan than overdraft a project QB this year. At least if things crash and burn Denver’s in position to get a real franchise signal caller when the class is littered with them.

I doubt John Elway feels the same. All the rumors suggest he is completely locked in. I still think that’s a yuuuuuuuge gamble. One I wouldn’t take.

Murray or bust in 2019.

He gone.

Your Broncos Links

2019 NFL Draft: Broncos draft interest tracker - Mile High Report

Which prospects have the Broncos been showing interest in?

Discussion: Should the Denver Broncos consider a Russell Wilson trade? - Mile High Report

Is 2 firsts, Chris Harris, and Joe Flacco too much for a potential Hall of Fame QB?

Your Denver Broncos as Game of Thrones characters - Mile High Report

Game of Thrones premiered on HBO in 2011 - Some Denver Broncos characters have an uncanny resemblance.

2019 NFL Draft: Scouting Iowa tight end Noah Fant - Mile High Report

The dynamic tight end would instantly upgrade the Broncos offense.

2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Quarterback Ryan Finley - Mile High Report

Is Ryan Finley a good fit for the Denver Broncos as a sleeper pick in the 2019 NFL Draft?

2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report: NC State linebacker Germaine Pratt - Mile High Report

The Denver Broncos are in dire need of a linebacker with sideline-to-sideline athleticism. North Carolina State product Germaine Pratt would provide that for the franchise’s defense.

The Four GMs Who Could Wreak Havoc on the NFL Draft - The Ringer

Despite our obsessions about what teams will do in the NFL draft, the “team” isn’t making a decision. It’s usually down to one person within the organization to decide whom a franchise will select, and if that one decision-maker guards what they truly think, then nobody—not even the people who work for them—knows what the “team” is planning.

2019 NFL Draft: Under-the-radar late-round prospects to watch | SI.com

As previous NFL drafts indicate, there’s talent aplenty in the later rounds. Who will be this year’s Tom Brady ... or Antonio Brown ... or Richard Sherman?

Ranking all NFL teams’ receiver situations, best to worst | SI.com

29. Denver Broncos ($18 / $167.6 million) Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton, Daesean Hamilton, Aaron Burbidge Sanders is 32 years old with a cap hit near $13 million. His last 1,000-yard season was in 2016. Does Joe Flacco change that?

2019 NFL Draft: Needs and targets for all 32 teams | SI.com

Biggest Need: Interior O-line. 2016 fifth-rounder Connor McGovern, who struggled a few times in one-on-one scenarios at guards last year, is the new center, with Matt Paradis not being re-signed. That’s a downgrade. So is undrafted third-year pro Elijah Wilkinson in McGovern’s old right guard spot. And at left guard, Ronald Leary is coming off an Achilles injury and can be cut in 2020 for a cap savings of $8.5M. New QB Joe Flacco, at this point, is only comfortable playing from a clean pocket. Denver needs at least two new blockers inside.

Round By Round Wide Receiver Fits For San Francisco | The Draft Network

One thing I’ve kept an eye on as I’ve pored over TDN’s content is what they fit for the Shanny offense. As you’ll remember, Rich Scangarello is probably installing a similar system.

Evaluations: NFL Draft EDGE Rankings - Fantasy Columns

Thor Nystrom dives into the top edge rushers in the 2019 draft class.

2019 NFL mock draft: Clemson’s defensive line shapes the 1st round - SBNation.com

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri Offseason needs: Linebacker, tight end, cornerback, defensive tackle Too many people continue connecting Lock to Denver to overlook it. That speculation has come despite the Broncos acquiring veteran quarterback Joe Flacco this offseason. Regardless of whether the Broncos should take Lock, there are much worse situations for him. Playing in Denver behind Flacco would allow him the time to continue refining his game and learning how to control his big arm.

ESPN’s Todd McShay mocks Drew Lock to the Broncos - Mile High Report

The Missouri signal caller is often mocked to the Broncos

Denver Broncos Mock Draft Monday - The Best Player’s Available - Mile High Report

How the first would look if I got to GM every team.

2019 NFL Mock Draft: Bold Trade by Broncos Shakes Up First Round | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

I would break my computer.

NFL Links

FMIA: What If Arizona Doesn’t Draft Kyler Murray With The No. 1 Pick? – ProFootballTalk

Suppose the Raiders, picking fourth, and coach Jon Gruden, who was openly covetous of Murray at the combine, decide that three of their five first-round picks in the next two drafts are worth using to get the first pick. Theoretically, suppose the Raiders trade the fourth and 27th picks in round one this year, plus one of their two first-rounders next year, to deal up to Arizona’s pick, and the Raiders take Murray. Then suppose they could recoup one of those first-round picks by trading quarterback Derek Carr to Miami or Washington or the Giants for a 2020 first-rounder. Over the next four years, the Raiders would save about $13 million a year by paying a first-pick quarterback an average of $8.5 million a year, as opposed to the $21.5 million average on the remaining four seasons of Carr’s contract.

Rumors fly of a possible Frank Clark trade – ProFootballTalk

It’s a fairly slow Sunday night in NFL circles, but a rumor making the rounds has gotten our attention. There’s chatter on the NFL grapevine of a potential trade that would send Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark to a new team. Jay Glazer recently wrote in a Q&A column for TheAthletic.

Tyreek Hill will be at Chiefs workouts Monday – ProFootballTalk

The Chiefs will open their offseason workouts on Monday with wide receiver Tyreek Hill in attendance. Hill is under investigation for a pair of recent incidents involving allegations of child abuse at his home in Kansas City, but PFT has learned, via a league source, that he will be present when ...

How mathematicians are trying to make NFL schedules fairer

I’ll believe it when I see it.

What Does the NFL’s Changing Pass-Rusher Value Mean for the 2019 Draft? - The Ringer

The Patriots have been to four Super Bowls in the past five seasons. None of those Super Bowl teams ranked higher than 23rd in percentage of the cap allocated to true edge rushers (i.e. Dont’a Hightower’s number is excluded from 2016), and twice, they’ve finished dead last (2017 and 2014). In 2018, they ranked 30th at 5.7 percent.

The Arizona Cardinals May Have Stumbled Into a Revolutionary Idea - The Ringer

“We’re not cocky enough to feel that you’re going to draft way better than anybody else, and it’s very important to create volume,”