Continuing our look at some of the prospects for the 2013 NFL draft, we look at Aaron Murray the Junior from Georgia. At the moment Aaron is undecided on his future, and many expect a decision to be made shortly after the Capital One Bowl later on this afternoon.
I love looking at Quarterbacks, after all it's 'the' position on the football field these days. I like a lot of QB's in this draft, I don't believe there to be an elite talent, but there are a lot of guys between the 2nd and 5th round that have the potential to pull a Russell Wilson for one team that wants to take a chance. I hope and expect the Jets to take a chance on one of these guys and one guy I want to look at further is Georgia Quarterback Aaron Murray.
There are positives and negatives to every single quarterback in this years draft, there is no talent like Andrew Luck and even Geno Smith is not up to Robert Griffin III's standard in my opinion. I don't see us taking a quarterback in the first round which pretty much eliminates Geno and Matt Barkley from USC. So you are looking at guys like Landry Jones, Nassib, Glennon, Wilson, Bray and E.J Manuel. All have their plus points, but first I want to look at Murray.
Murray has just enjoyed his most productive season with the Bulldogs, his completion percentage was up, his mistakes were down and he guided Georgia to the SEC title game against the Tide. He has thrown more Touchdowns at Georgia than any previous Quarterback. Awarded team MVP and the coaches leadership award for the offensive side of the ball - leadership in a Quarterback is a trait that can not be undervalued.
Anyone who has followed this series over the last 4 years will know I have a fascination with SEC football, it holds some of the best defenses in the country and if your quarterback succeeds there, then they immediately grab my attention. Murray has succeeded.
There are a lot of things to consider when looking at Murray so lets dive straight into the positives and the negatives
Has been productive in one of the toughest conferences in the country. He made vast improvements in 2012 with his decision making which resulted in his completion percentage creeping over 65% and his interception rate dropping while his touchdowns went up. He has an elite arm and gets a tight spiral on the football, can really fling the football into the tightest of spots and the football he throws makes it easier to catch for receivers. Well respected by coaches and no off the field issues, is highly regarded for his leadership. Over the top release which makes up for his lack of elite height, very compact quick release. Is a competitor to the end, and always willing to throw a block when needed and put his head down and fight for those extra yards. Has a true love for the game which translates every time he steps on the field. Very good pocket presence and movement away from pressure, slides away from pressure well and stays on his toes, more than capable of tucking the ball and running - has good speed and good recognition of when to run and when to throw. Sets well, and has balanced shoulders, can throw on the run accurately. Extremely tough, I've seen him get drilled by some of the biggest lineman and hardest hitting linebackers in the country, he smiles and pops straight back up again.
A shade over 6-1 so he is lacking the prototypical quarterback size. Can get lazy with his feet at times, when throwing deep he sets properly and delivers the ball, when throwing quick outs, screens, bubbles and short outs - doesn't always get his shoulders squared and this can cause some accuracy issues when you just don't need it. Hasn't always performed against the big opposition, see Florida and Alabama 2012. Does like to take some risks trying to fit balls into tight windows, although this dramatically improved this year after he worked with offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Has had some balls batted down at the line because of his height but doesn't happen very often.
I really like Murray as a future NFL QB, he reminds me a lot of Russell Wilson and his height will get questioned just as much as Wilson's. He needs to be used correctly, get him on the move - use him out of play-action and allow him to flex the field with his big arm. As a 2nd/3rd round guy, I really would like to see us take a chance on him. I like the improvements he has made with his accuracy and his leadership and toughness are traits I would love in a QB. His negatives can be improved with good coaching (which means we need to get rid of Cav).
Would I draft him for the Jets? Absolutely in the 2nd or 3rd round.