Meet your QB of the future folks, Aaron Murray.
It goes without saying that I was not only happy, but thrilled when the Chiefs selected Aaron Murray with their 5th round selection. When you analyze all the facts, you find that this is a great pick with little risk and tons of upside. Lets look at some of the reasons why Aaron Murray will not only be a starter, but a star in the NFL.
Played and won in the SEC
Aaron Murray played against top-tier competition for 4 years. Except for his freshman year, he had a winning record each season and lead his team to two bowl games. In 2011, they lost in triple OT to Michigan State, 33-30 and in 2012 they won the Capital One Bowl vs Nebraska, 45-31. He consistently beat nationally ranked teams including wins against #6 South Carolina in 2013 #2 ranked Florida in 2012.
You want stats? You got em!
Lets do some comparisons. How does Aaron stack up against Johnny Manziel and some of the past all-time SEC greats who played well at the next level?
We will be looking at their best years side by side:
Aaron Murray: 2013 season
- 249 Completions to 386 Attempts, 64.5% completion percentage
- 3,893 passing yards
- 36 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions
Johnny Manziel: 2012 season (Heisman Winner)
- 300 completions to 429 Attempts, 69.9% completion percentage
- 4,114 passing yards
- 37 touchdowns to only 13 interceptions
Peyton Manning: 1997 season
- 287 completions to 477 attempts, 60.2 % completion percentage
- 3,819 passing yards
- 36 touchdowns to 11 interceptions
Cam Newton: 2010 season (Heisman Winner)
- 85 completions to 280 attempts, 66.1% completion percentage
- 2,854 passing yards
- 30 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions
- (Source for all these stats via Collegefootballreference.com)
Now, what really stands out to me is that all of these players, with the exception of Murray, were 1st round picks and Murray has better stats than all except for maybe Manziel. Point is, Murray was an extremely productive college quarterback and he did it for more than just one season.
For all of his big wins and impressive stats, its Murray’s intangibles that really set him apart. His signature game was arguably the 2012 SEC Championship game vs #2 ranked Alabama. Georgia was down 28-32 with 1:08 left on the clock and needed a touch down to win.
Murray took the field and, like normal, saved his best for last. Starting on their own 15 yard line against the most dominant defense in all of college football, Murray drove his team down the field with pin point passes and a little bit of luck. Keep in mind this was an Alabama defense with 6 future NFL players (Damion Square , Jesse Williams , C.J. Mosley, Nico Johnson , Dee Milliner, and Robert Lester at safety) and Aaron Murray drove his team all the way to Alabama 8 yard line.
Unfortunately, Murray threw a 5 yard out pass to an open receiver who catches the ball but slips and falls with 5 seconds left on the clock. Game over. Georgia was unable to stop the clock and the game was lost. Despite the fact that Georgia lost, Murray showed incredible guts and nerves of steel in what was arguably the biggest game of his career. You could say that he played like he had ice in his veins.
Experts Chime In
Last but not least, its interesting to see what the so-called experts have to say about Murray. The one ringing endorsement came from Tony Dungy who coached Peyton Manning for the majority of his career. In respect to Murray, Dungy said that if he were the Chiefs who at that time held the number 1 pick over all, would take Murray if he came out. Furthermore this year he added,
“Yes I am a big Aaron Murray fan. I think he’s going to be like Russell Wilson” Jon Gruden’s QB Camp featured Murray, Gruden gushed about him saying, “He is at the top of the food chain…He is going to make someones draft very very exciting.” As far as his arm strength goes he said “Nobody throws the ball down field better than Georgia…he has deep ball accuracy, anticipation and touch. He will be the steal of the draft for somebody.”
When it’s all said and done I think the Chiefs hit a home run on this pick and have the makings of a great one. Aaron Murray could truly be the Chiefs diamond in the rough.
For a franchise that has flat-out stunk at drafting quarterbacks, lets hope Murray can turn that around.
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