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.
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?
April 1st confidence meter:— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 15, 2019
Kyler Murray will be 1st overall pick
April 15th confidence meter:
Kyler Murray will be 1st overall pick (60%)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Chris Harris Jr. has been thrown at 644 times in 132 career games. Over that span:— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) April 15, 2019
-- Only 10 WRs have ever caught a TD pass against him
-- Only 8 times has a player ever totaled more than 50 yards against him in any game (and only once has a player totaled over 85 yards)
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
Thor Nystrom dives into the top edge rushers in the 2019 draft class.
Bradley Chubb was drafted 5th overall by the #Broncos in 2018.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 15, 2019
He posted an elite #RAS, putting him in strong company. 50 of the 75 players who both qualified for RAS and posted at least one 12.5 sack season had a score over 8.00. pic.twitter.com/j1XXxRSrsI
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.
The Missouri signal caller is often mocked to the Broncos
How the first would look if I got to GM every team.
Ted’s Film Room: Linebacker Devin Bush is the complete package— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) April 15, 2019
He could do everything asked of an ILB at a high level. The only hole that people can poke in his game is his height, but every other part of Bush’s game doesn’t come up short.
Read: https://t.co/424C56c9Du pic.twitter.com/B8qXMUDa8m
2019 NFL Mock Draft: Bold Trade by Broncos Shakes Up First Round | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
I would break my computer.
I’m really going to enjoy studying Tua Tagovailoa. Excited to see how he performs next season. pic.twitter.com/8GZXL5bpPt— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) April 15, 2019
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.
Travis Kelce, who had surgery on his ankle after the season, is out of a boot and is working out. But is still mostly rehabbing and getting treatment. He doesn’t know what his timetable will be, but is still not allowed on the field.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 15, 2019
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.
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 ...
I’ll believe it when I see it.
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.
“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,”
There are probably two explanations that best explain this (I’m lying there is only one)— Josh Hermsmeyer (@friscojosh) April 15, 2019
1. Wilson is effective only when he is protected by a strong run game and asked to pass rarely
2. The Seahawks are insane and are squandering one the NFL top QB talents https://t.co/2TyPz2dLRu