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    • QB Battle: Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) vs. Drew Lock (Missouri)



      It seems inevitable that the Redskins will select a young QB in the 2019 draft. Alex Smith's future hangs by a thread. The only certainty is that he will not suit up in 2019. That leaves the Skins with an unproven and injury prone Colt McCoy, and...well...some other guys. With Jay Gruden's job on the line, and the Redskins fanbase mired in doom and gloom, drafting a youngster to lead the way in the future seems like an imperative.

      And don't believe the pundits. This is a great year to do so. While it's true that many of the marquee talents at QB may not be available in this draft, don't be mistaken. There is talent to be had. And in a rare scenario, most of the teams drafting ahead of the Washington Redskins in Round 1 are seemingly set at the most important position on the roster. The Redskins have two choices. Draft one of a handful of more highly touted stars with their first pick, or try and beat the Vegas odds by picking up that hidden gem in later rounds.

      In our 5th pre-draft QB battle we pit two passers who most draft experts see going well before our B&G will make their first selection, Oklahoma's Kyler Murray and Missouri's Drew Lock.


      Kyler Murray
      Height: 5' 10"
      Weight: 195 lbs
      Career Passing Yards (2 seasons): 5,406 (186 yds/game)
      Career Completion %: 67.4%
      Career Yards/Attempt: 10.4
      Career TDs: 50
      Career INTs: 14
      Career Rushing Yards: 1,478
      Career QB Rating: 181.3

      Highlight Reel:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIw2sEuR0P4

      Conventional Wisdom: There's a reason why Kyler Murray is almost universally considered to be the only true QB prodigy in the 2019 NFL draft - and that's because he's an incredibly talented dual threat weapon. Murray can shred opposing defenses in the air or on the ground. His numbers at Oklahoma are Michael Vick-like. Although he may not be the most accurate passer among this year's QB crop, he consistently puts balls where they need to be whether from the pocket, or more frequently, on the run. Murray demonstrates explosive arm strength. Although he's had only 1 full season as starter at Oklahoma (after partial seasons both at Texas A&M and during his first season with the Sooners), he has shown he can go through progressions and read defenses well. By far his most notable trait, and where he really separates himself from other QBs in this draft, is his mobility and abilities as a playmaker with both his arm and on the run. His ability to scramble, take off on the run, and make accurate throws even when off balance or under pressure is eye-popping. Murray is a gamer as well, with some of his best performances occurring in high-stakes games. Murray has good pocket awareness, but has displayed some issues on both ends of the spectrum under pressure. At times, he holds onto the ball too long, perhaps a reflection of his confidence in his ability to evade the pass rush with his feet. Other times, Murray seems to bail and take off almost immediately. He was able to get away with both tendencies in the Big 12. Whether or not he'll have equal success against NFL defenders is an open question. Still, Murray has elite arm and leg talent, making him by far the most coveted QB in the 2019 NFL draft.


      Drew Lock
      Height: 6' 4"
      Weight: 225 lbs
      Career Passing Yards (4 seasons): 12,193 (244 yds/game)
      Career Completion %: 56.9%
      Career Yards/Attempt: 7.9
      Career TDs: 99
      Career INTs: 39
      Career Rushing Yards: 437
      Career QB Rating: 138.8

      Highlight Reel:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMJKsb2r_0A

      Conventional Wisdom: Lock is considered one of the most NFL ready QBs in the 2019 draft. He should be, given his 50 game career at Mizzou. Lock is a bit of a daredevil, capable of eye-poppingly accurate pinpoint passes at times, but is often inconsistent. His accuracy #'s do not impress when compared to others in his class although he has improved in that regard every season of his college career. He has very good arm strength when throwing from a solid base, but sometimes breaks down on the move or when forced to throw off balance. Lock throws one of the prettiest deep balls of any of this year's QBs. Great pocket awareness and consistently gets rid of the ball quickly when plays break down or when unable to side-step pressure. Lock is a pretty good athlete, but rarely takes off downfield. Lock has good size and a solid frame, but some scouts have expressed concern about his smallish hands and point to a propensity to fumble as a possible red flag at the NFL level. Teammates and coaches credit Lock for a calm demeanor and sterling work ethic. For a QB who consistently completes less than 60% of his throws, Lock throws surprisingly few interceptions.


      Fight!!

      Short of giving up the farm there is almost zero chance that the Washington Redskins find themselves in a position to draft Kyler Murray. And count me as one who is relieved that that's the case. For me, drafting Murray woud be a definite 'been there, done that' scenario. While Murray is a better passer than Robert Griffin ever dreamed of being, his slight frame may be an even bigger concern than it was for RG3. Whether or not Murray can see perfectly over NFL linemen is irrelevant. The real worry is whether or not Murray can survive given his propensity to take off with reckless abandon. While Murray enjoyed the benefit of playing behind one of the best college lines in football at Oklahoma - he may well find himself playing behind one of the NFL's worst. Maybe Josh Rosen can give him some pointers on how to handle a 40+ sack season as he passes Murray on the way out of Arizona? The only other hesitancy I might have beyond the cost to acquire Murray and his potential durability concerns would be his limited body of work as a starter. Is Murray going to be the next Russell Wilson, or the next RG3? Only time will tell, but for a number of reasons I don't think the Redskins can afford the gamble even in the unlikely event they find themselves in a position to move up and take him. Drew Lock is also a big-time risk. Great QBs can come in all kinds of packages. But the one quality that is an absolute must at the NFL level is accuracy. And while Lock may be the most experienced NFL-ready QB in this year's draft - he is not a particularly accurate passer. For a QB with as many college starts as Lock has, his mechanics and footwork need a lot of work. The question for any NFL GM is pretty straight forward when it comes to Lock. Is he a finished product, or has he only touched on his NFL potential? How one answers that question will largely define how excited a team might be to get their hands on him. One factor that gives Lock the nod here over the more highly touted Murray, and the reason I would still be quite excited if the Redskins were able to land Lock in this week's NFL draft? Lock improved his game, both in terms of passing accuracy and decision-making, in each of his 4 seasons at Missouri. If he can make that kind of progress at the NFL level, he could be a great pick.


      ***Next Up: The QB Battle Finale!***



      WARNING: Readers of the QB Battle Threads should embrace predictions with caution, as the creators of this feature may be wrong, misguided, or generally way off base. The author retains the right to totally deny such predictions, delete embarrassing content, or otherwise reject responsibility for statements that prove to be stupid, errant, or humiliating.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: QB Battle: Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) vs. Drew Lock (Missouri) started by Boone View original post
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