With exactly three weeks until the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft is announced, quarterbacks are once again the most discussed prospects in regard to many mock draft discussions. Everyone wants to talk about the most polarizing player in the draft, Johnny Manziel, as well as other quarterbacks moving around on various draft boards including Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr. All four could hear their names called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Day 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft. Other sleeper signal callers who could sneak into the end of Round 1 or early in Round 2 include Jimmy Garoppolo, Zach Mettenberger, A.J. McCarron and Tom Savage. Yet, if you look back to one year ago around this time, former head coach Tony Dungy said there was no doubt which quarterback he would have selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and that same player just happens to be on the board entering this year’s selection process.
That player is Georgia Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray, who continues to rehab from a torn ACL in his left knee last November. If he can work his way back, Murray could very well wind up being the steal of the draft in 2014, much like Russell Wilson was for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. Two years and one Super Bowl championship later, things certainly worked out well for Wilson and the Seahawks.
Murray is similar to Wilson in many ways, both in size, stature and intelligence. True, he is not the size of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. And, no, he does not possess the elusiveness of a Colin Kaepernick or Cam Newton. But that does not mean that Murray does not have what it takes to lead a team at the next level. Murray is smart and accurate with his passes, and he has what it takes on the inside to learn an offense and to quickly improve under the right direction.
“I feel great right now,” said Murray. “I feel no limitations with the knee. I think everyone today saw that between all the movement I was doing, the cutting, the sprinting. We put a lot of throws on the right, left, demonstrate my ability to cut off my leg and show everyone that I’m healthy. These teams don’t have to worry about if they draft me, I’m going to have to sit out or something like that.”
Murray will not be the No. 1 overall pick of the Houston Texans. He will likely not go in the first round to another quarterback-starved team such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns or Minnesota Vikings. But, if teams decide to go in a different direction with their first and perhaps even second round pick and opt to wait on drafting a quarterback, Murray could be the perfect fit for one lucky NFL team and pay dividends as soon as 2014 or 2015.