NFL Draft 2014 Prospect Profile: Aaron Murray, Quarterback, Georgia

Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Murray – Quarterback – Georgia
Ht: 6’1’’
Wt: 208 lbs

Passing through 12 weeks* (National Ranks)
3,075 Passing Yards (26)
26 Touchdowns (18)
9 Interceptions
64.8 Comp %

Projected Round 3-4

Aaron Murray has been a household name in college football for years now. Murray was a popular name heading into last year’s draft until he decided to stay in school for his senior year. Over his career he set the SEC record in passing yards and touchdowns. Murray suffered a torn ACL on November 23rd in a win against Kentucky. Because of this injury, he will be unable to participate in the Senior Bowl in January, which may have helped him raise his draft stock. He is projected to be able to take part in Georgia’s pro day, though, which he will need to use to display his healed leg.

Positives:

Murray’s short yardage accuracy has been the biggest reason for his success at Georgie. He has a quick delivery and good arm strength to get the ball to his receivers in a snap. He is deadly in short yardage situations and is known for moving the sticks.

Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

His work with play-action passes has been another aspect of success. It helps that he has been gifted with a talented running game, but nonetheless, he can get the defense to bite. This mixed with his ability to move in the pocket makes for some big plays across the middle of the field.

Aaron Murray has some of the best mechanics in the game. His quick clean delivery has been very consistent over the past couple years. He has improved his arm slot and throwing motions which have helped with his velocity.

Negatives:

Deep accuracy and arm strength aren’t a strong suit for Murray. He too often under throws his receivers downfield which result in broken plays and sometimes interceptions. If he has enough time in the pocket, he can put more strength behind it and make plays.

He has gained the reputation of coming up short in big games. This can be attributed to his decision-making in the pocket. Even though he has improved this greatly in 2013, Murray has a tendency to pick a receiver and throw it to them regardless of the coverage. He doesn’t go through his full reads as often as he needs to. This can be helped with a good quarterbacks coach at the next level.

While he has decent mobility, he takes too many big hits. He doesn’t feel pressure very well in the pocket, which leads to him getting knocked around too often. He does have the ability to extend the play with his legs, but he needs to be able to anticipate hits and get rid of the ball or slide before he gets popped.

The biggest knock on Murray is his size. At 6’1’’, many teams won’t want to take a chance on him. If he can show he can make plays for the offense in spite of his height, he can find success in the NFL.

Conclusion:

Aaron Murray is a leader. He has as much experience at the college level as you are ever going to find in a prospect. He plays in the toughest conference in the country and has found great success. I don’t think he can step in and be a starter from day one, but I do think  a couple of years behind a veteran quarterback would help him greatly. He has all the smarts of a great NFL quarterback, but he needs to develop his style. He would not fit in a vertical offense due to his lack of downfield success.

Aaron Murray is a potential third-round target for a team in need of a solid backup or someone they can groom for the future. Look for Green Bay or a team like New England to give him a chance if he drops.

*did not participate in full 12 weeks due to injury

Topics: Aaron Murray, NFL Draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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