Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has had an offseason filled with speculation about his future as he seeks a contract extension.
The 33rd Team, the site started by former NFL executives Mike Tannenbaum and Joe Banner, created a list of 75 players ages 25 and younger. Eleven of The 33rd Team's analysts and writers voted for the top 25 young stars.
Murray ranked seventh. He finished as high as fourth and as low as 17th in some categories.
The site gave a glowing endorsement to Murray, who could use the ranking as an argument for getting a new contract.
"Kyler Murray has been one of the most explosive quarterbacks in the NFL since entering the league in 2019," the authors wrote. "After finishing his rookie season with 3,722 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with 544 yards on the ground, Murray brought home the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. In 2020, Murray improved to 3,971 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. This past season, Murray took an even larger step. In 2021, Murray posted the third-highest PFF-passing grade with 88.1, behind only Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. Not to mention, Murray boasted the highest big-time-throw percentage, by doing that generating a big-time-throw on a league-high 8.1% of his passes. There might be some trouble going on off the field in Arizona, but when Murray steps onto the gridiron, he is one of the league’s best."
There were certainly more highs than lows to Murray's season in 2021. At one point, Murray was a 2021 MVP candidate. He led the Cardinals to a 7-0 start and passed for more than 2,000 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions to go with 126 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Murray did stumble, however,. The combination of injuries to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Murray along with overall team play hurt the signal-caller's numbers. down the stretch. Murray missed three games and passed for only seven touchdowns over the last seven games of the season.
The Oklahoma product showed great poise under pressure in 2021. According to NFL's Next Gen Stats, Murray was the third-best deep-ball passer. When being blitzed, Murray posted the best deep passer rating (135.4) and had the third-most yards against blitzes with 314.
Murray now has two Pro Bowls in his three-year career. The Cardinals have shown improvement during Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury's tenure. Arizona went from five wins in Murray's rookie season in 2019 to eight in 2020 and then to 11 in 2021.
Arizona extended the contracts of general manager Steve Keim and Kingsbury through 2027 in March.
It will be tough to not see Murray with the Cardinals in the long term as The 33rd Team calls him "one of the league's best."