With all the quarterback draft talk focusing on the likes of Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, it is easy for a talented QB to fly under the radar somewhat. In the 2014 draft Aaron Murray is that QB.
Murray comes into the draft after four seasons as the starting quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs.
At Georgia he was able to cut his teeth against strong Southeastern Conference (SEC) defenses. Whilst getting plenty of chances to give the ball some air. Murray has shown he has a strong arm becoming the only QB to surpass 3,000 yards in four straight years in SEC history.
By the end of his college career Murray had thrown for 13,166 yards. In his last full season of football (2012) Murray averaged 10.1 yards per pass attempt which is better than Manziel's 9.59 last season and Teddy Bridgewater's 9.30.
Murray also possesses good to very good all-round technique, has experience in playing big games and has led a pro-style offense for four years.
Given all this then question is why isn't Murray's draft stock perceived to be higher?
There are two reasons.
Firstly, Murray is only just over 6ft tall; a little shorter than the ideal QB. Typically passers need to be a few inches taller in order to see over offensive linemen and hit routes. Height isn't necessary a deal breaker however and Murray can always point to the NFL success of the slighter shorter Drew Brees.
Secondly, last November Murray tore his ACL and was unable to do drills at February's NFL Combine. In the next few days though Murray will attend Georgia's pro-day where he intends to be doing all the exercises and will be looking to impress scouts with his recovery.
Bridgewater and Manziel will almost certainly be drafted higher than Murray but there is a strong argument that Murray is likely to have the more successful NFL career.
Bridgewater is likely to be picked up by a relatively weak side such as the Texans or Browns and be expected to deliver from week one. Given time, Bridgewater is likely to become a good NFL QB but a few bad seasons with poor receivers and a fragile O-line and Bridgewater's NFL prospects could look very different.
Equally, with Manziel whilst he is capable of pulling off explosive plays he is also likely to get hit hard by the NFL's faster, tougher defenses. Will his body be able to stand up to the punishment?
Murray meanwhile will likely be able to spend a few seasons as the number two man on the roster learning the offensive scheme and getting used to the NFL. He will be able to develop without the pressure that Manziel and Bridgewater will face.
Murray might not go too high in the draft but he's likely to have a more successful NFL career then his more heralded rivals.
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