History says quarterbacks drafted as late as fifth-rounder Aaron Murray went in the NFL draft usually don’t become starters but there are some notable exceptions: fifth-round pick Mark Brunell (1993) and sixth-round picks Tom Brady (2000) and Matt Hasselback (1998).
Murray will have a chance to distinguish himself now with the Kansas City Chiefs who selected the Georgia four-year starter Saturday ahead of well-known SEC quarterbacks AJ McCarron of Alabama and Zach Mettenberger of LSU.
Murray, who measures at just under 6-foot-1, is entering the NFL at a time when the Super Bowl winning quarterback is 5-foot-11 Russell Wilson and one of the league’s other top signal callers is 6-foot Drew Brees. Murray’s lack of ideal size at the position is one reason he may have still been around in the fifth round.
“As I looked at the tape, I saw Drew Brees time and time and time again,” former Colts general manager Bill Polian said on ESPN of Murray after he was drafted. “ A quick release, move around in the pocket, leader, forceful. Then lo and behold up would come the interception where you would say why did he do that? It got a little bit better this year although some of it showed up towards the end. Now maybe he was injured. The bottom line. Does he have a chance? Yes, but he’s got to clean up the interceptions.”
Murray has long admired Brees.
Getting picked by New Orleans to be groomed behind him might have been ideal. Murray said he was thinking he could go to the Saints or the Chiefs before Kansas City picked him.
“He’s going to draw comparisons like every six foot quarterback who doesn’t have a great arm to Drew Brees, but he can move around but he’s always looking to throw and find an open receiver,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper said. “He’s a competitive kid….Can he be Drew Brees? Probably not. Can he be a successful starting quarterback? I wouldn’t count him out.”
Murray becomes the fourth Georgia quarterback who played under Mark Richt and was coached by Mike Bobo to be drafted joining David Greene (third round, 2005), D.J., Shockley (seventh round, 2006) and Matthew Stafford (1st overall pick, 2009).
Murray was asked earlier this week when he was in New York if he had any regrets coming back for his senior season. That senior season ended with Murray sustaining a torn ACL.
He was asked again by Kansas City reporters Saturday.
“No, not at all,” he said. “It was a great year. At the end of the year I felt like I became a better quarterback.”