What sort of fantasy football production should you expect from Kyler Murray during his first season in the NFL?
ESPN Fantasy’s Mike Clay will break down the fantasy impact of each skill-position pick from the first round of the 2019 NFL draft. Check back throughout Thursday night for his latest reactions.
Arizona hired a new coaching staff this offseason, and now they have a new quarterback. With Murray likely to be under center come Week 1, Arizona now figures to trade 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen over the next 24 hours.
Murray is easily the best quarterback in the draft and immediately adds a new dimension to coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. The Oklahoma product is extremely undersized (5-foot-10, 207 pounds), but exceptionally efficient with his arm and highly productive with his legs.
Last season, Murray paced combine invitees in yards per pass attempt (11.6), yards per completion (16.8), FBS QB rating (199), total QBR (96), first-down rate (48 percent), third-down conversion rate (54 percent) and yards per carry (7.2).
Murray threw 42 touchdowns to seven interceptions while adding 1,001 rushing yards and 12 rushing TDs. Murray, who was also drafted by the Oakland Athletics, is a superb athlete and one of the youngest quarterbacks in the class (he turns 22 in August).
Murray’s combination of passing efficiency and playmaking ability with his legs supplies him with a massive fantasy ceiling. Though rookies are often hard to trust in fantasy, Murray could be an exception. Consider that there have been three top-10 and six top-14 fantasy seasons by rookie quarterbacks over the past decade. They belonged to Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Dak Prescott, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston. Each of them added significant points with their legs and rushed for four or more touchdowns.
Murray should be viewed as a QB2 with backend QB1 upside and is worth a late-round pick in your draft.
Initial rookie-season projection: 15 starts, 305-of-491, 3,531 yards, 20 TDs, 14 INTs, 89 carries, 491 yards, 3 TDs