May 16, 2021

Pro Football

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Kliff Kingsbury, Kyler Murray Take On The NFL

2 min read
Kliff Kingsbury, Kyler Murray Take On The NFL

QB Kyler Murray – A few years ago, a 5-foot-10 quarterback would not have been the top pick of the draft, but Keim believes Murray’s electric dual-threat skillset more than makes up for his diminutive frame. Baker Mayfield’s size was not an issue last year, while Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are two other short quarterbacks who have found great success. There will assuredly be rookie growing pains, but if Murray can successfully transition to the NFL, the Cardinals will be in great shape moving forward.

RB David Johnson – While Murray will get the majority of the focus, he needs weapons to succeed. Johnson was one of the best running backs in the NFL in 2016, but was injured for almost all of 2017 and struggled in 2018. The Cardinals’ lack of talent and creativity on offense last year played a role in Johnson’s issues, and he is expected to find an optimized situation under Kingsbury.

WR Larry Fitzgerald – The future Hall of Famer had the fewest receiving yards of his career (734) in 2018 and at 36 will be the oldest wideout in the NFL this season. However, the statistical decline had more to do with a struggling passing game than a Fitzgerald slowdown. He still led the team in receptions and yards, and despite the down year, has still averaged more than 1,000 receiving yards per season over the past four. The Cardinals are expected to throw a lot in 2019, and Fitzgerald will again play a critical role offensively.

WR Christian Kirk – There weren’t many offensive bright spots in 2018, but Kirk was one of them. He had 43 catches for 590 yards in 12 games before breaking his foot. Kirk was a college teammate of Murray’s for a season and they had a noticeable chemistry during training camp. Kirk is expected to play in the slot most of the time and could be in line for a productive year.

LT D.J. Humphries – The Cardinals’ 2015 first-round pick has lived up to that billing in stretches, but has yet to put it all together. Injuries have been the major culprit, and if Humphries can stay on the field for all 16 games, it would be a big boost to a maligned offensive line. Humphries is a free agent at the end of the season, so a strong showing could also result in a lucrative payday.

Notable Losses: QB Josh Rosen, G Mike Iupati, WR J.J. Nelson, TE Jermaine Gresham

Notable Additions: QB Kyler Murray, G J.R. Sweezy, T Marcus Gilbert, WR Michael Crabtree, WR KeeSean Johnson, WR Andy Isabella, TE Charles Clay

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