There has been a lot of buzz around the Cardinal’s offense this offseason. Tons of Twitter accounts are ready to crown the Cardinals as the best offense in the NFL. There’s a lot to be excited about- Kliff Kingsbury bringing the air-raid offense to the NFL, Kyler Murray taking the reins at QB, and some exciting weapons that were added for Kyler as well. There are two main questions for me that I think people are overlooking- can we trust the rookies to produce consistently and can the Arizona offensive line hold up long enough to keep Kyler Murray upright?
Now don’t get me wrong here- I’m a Kyler Murray truther. I think he is one of the best blends of athleticism, arm talent and accuracy that we have seen in a long time. His size doesn’t concern me and I think he is smart and focused enough to be a quality NFL signal caller. But let’s remember that the move from college to pro is undoubtedly the hardest transition of any position on the field for QBs. Historically we have seen some really talented QBs struggle in their rookie year. During their rookie seasons Peyton Manning threw for more interceptions than touchdowns, Matt Ryan only threw 16 touchdowns, Jared Goff looked like he was going to be the next big bust and Eli Manning had a completion percentage under 50%. Remember the adjustment period.
Let’s not forget that Murray isn’t the only new addition to this offense. Kliff Kingsbury is replacing Steve Wilks after last year’s dumpster fire and he is bringing the air raid offense to the pros. I’m not sure what this is going to look like in the NFL but I am worried. Chip Kelly struggled bringing his up tempo spread offense to the big leagues and I’m concerned to see how the air raid offense is going to translate as well. The air raid offense relies on QBs to make calls at the line of scrimmage to make adjustments and I’m worried that might be a lot of pressure to put on a rookie QB.
There are a lot of new rookie weapons for Kyler to play with this year. Andy Isabella was taken in the second round and Hakeem Butler in the fourth were two exciting pieces added in May. Again though- relying on (multiple) rookies to make an instant impact is not a formula for success. Second year wideout Christian Kirk was one of my favorite players in the draft last year and I think he’s primed to have a big year and old reliable Larry Fitzgerald will be Kyler’s security blanket.
Let’s talk about my biggest concern for Kyler Murray and the Cardinal’s offensive success this year- the offensive line. After losing Mike Iupati and replacing him with former Seahawk JR Sweezy, there has not been much improvement on this line who gave up 52 sacks last year (5th most in the league). Add that to the fact they didn’t draft an offensive lineman until the 6th round I’m worried that offensive line isn’t going to be able to give Kyler Murray the protection to succeed. Obviously Kyler is obviously much more athletic than Josh Rosen, but i’d like to see him have the opportunity to make plays from the pocket because his accuracy is so deadly.
I think Kyler has the ability to be a top 10 NFL QB- but I think we are rushing him this year. I expect some typical rookie struggles paired with some sub-pair supporting casts that will be improved upon in the coming seasons. What do you think? Agree or disagree let me know on Twitter @FootballBry15. Don’t forget to listen to Jet Set Fantasy Football podcast every week (rate, review, subscribe) to play along with some games, listen to some bad jokes and some less bad fantasy football thoughts.