Peyton Manning. Eli Manning. Jay Cutler. Tim Tebow. Aaron Murray.
What is one thing all of those guys have in common because there can’t be much (and it sure isn’t where they were drafted), but what they do have in common is they all played college football in the SEC. Which one of them holds the record for most passing yards and touchdowns in SEC history? The one with the least name recognition in that group, Aaron Murray.
Aaron Murray played in one of the toughest conferences in the country, and argued by most to be the toughest. None of that stopped Murray on his way to 13,166 passing yards and 121 passing touchdowns. It would be one thing if Murray played in the Texas Tech or Baylor offensive gunslinging schemes, but Murray did not.
At Georgia Murray played a pro scheme that showed off all of his tools, under the center drop backs, play action passes, play action roll outs, and then of course out of the shotgun. Aaron Murray has all of the tools to be the Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback in a few years, and be a successful one.
Murray was a 4 year starter at Georgia, improving every year. His junior year he came up just yards short of upsetting Alabama in the SEC championship game. Alabama continued to win the national championship that year.
Has a quick release enabling him to get the ball out before defenders get around the end and get to him.
True on the field general, Murray leads by example and his teammates feed into this mentality.
Very good accuracy in the short and medium range passes, can thread the needle when its needed.
NFL scouts love to be particular and find any knock they can on a guy, sometimes a little to particular.
Scouts have been knocking Murray’s size and and short armed release.
Size does not seem to have been a problem so far, the short armed release sometimes has gotten him into troubles, nothing that can not be fine tuned and tweaked to be more effective. A year or two with Andy Reid and that flaw should be sured up as quickly as it has arose over the last few years.
Deep ball accuracy and arm strength have been brought into question and both seem to be a little over hyped. Murray was not a perfect deep ball thrower and does not have Stafford’s arm, but that being said he can get air under the ball and let it rip.
Is said to not show up in big games, this is the weakness I hear all of the time and it is one of the biggest lies you will hear about a guy. Granted his record is not pretty against the top 10 teams in the nation, lets take a look at some big games he has been in.
2012 SEC championship: Murray had the lead most of the game despite his defense allowing Alabama to run the ball at will (giving up 334 rushing yards to bama backs), and then had the game winning drive ended just yards short on the last play.
Season opener against Clemson last year: 20/29 with over 300 yards, while his defense allowed Tajh Boyd to register 5 touchdowns.
The following week Murray plays against Clowney and #6 South Carolina and logs 4 tds and 300 yards passing on an impressive 17/23.
A few weeks later against new #6 LSU, Murray posts 298 passing yards, 4 touchdowns including a Dilfer Dime with less than a minute in a half left in the game to win it.
And my all time favorite, the loss to Auburn. Murray did everything short of kick the extra points and play defense for them that game. Down 20 in the 4th quarter, Murray leads a miraculous come-back and notches another late TD to give his team the lead, only to watch a 4th and 18 pass go for 73 yards beat him by the future SEC champions.
These were a few wins and a few losses against all top 10 teams where Murray is being knocked for losing, but if he had any type of defense in many of these would have been easy W’s.
Overall Aaron Murray has what it takes to be the Chiefs future QB and do so not as just a game manager like Alex Smith has been. Murray has the potential to come in after Smith leaves (if he does) and be a very good quarterback for years to come.