In the 2019 NFL Draft, many Big 12 players were taken off of the board, with 11 going in the first two days. The biggest event of the year for hopeful college stars went off with a bang for Big 12 fans, with Oklahoma’s dynamic quarterback Kyler Murray being taken first overall. Later on, Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown was taken 25th overall, with defensive end L.J. Collier rounding out the excitement for Big 12 teams, going 29th out of TCU.
Kyler Murray has undoubtedly been selected to become the face of the franchise for the Arizona Cardinals as they enter a new age, while Marquise Brown enters an offense now under the full-time command of a sophomore quarterback in Baltimore. So, which of these two Big 12 offensive studs have been drafted into the best situation this year?
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
There’s no denying Kyler Murray’s talent and superb athleticism, but he’s coming into a rather daunting situation for a rookie quarterback. As noted by Pro Football Focus, the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line was an atrocity last season and hasn’t improved much coming into 2019. Ranked as the third-worst despite adding Marcus Gilbert and J.R. Sweezy, Murray is expected to be under pressure often.
It’s a big season for the Cards, billed as the start of a new era under a head coach without any NFL experience, Kliff Kingsbury, and their first-overall, 5’10’’ quarterback, but even the most talented offensive minds struggle behind a weak line. The Cardinals haven’t made it to the postseason since the offensive line went downhill after the 2015 season.
Murray has the feet and the impeccable speed to compensate for some of the errors made in front and has a strong set of options in Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, but it seems unlikely that he’ll go unscathed in 2019. In a division containing the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals aren’t expected to start climbing the NFC West, but there’s a lot of hope that Kingsbury and Murray can combine to yield more than 225 total points this season.
Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Last season, the Baltimore Ravens made the bold move to switch in Lamar Jackson for Joe Flacco at quarterback, with the elite-level defense allowing the offense to endure an adjustment period. Now, with a full season under his belt, a lot more trust will be placed on Jackson – especially as much of the pass rush left in the free agency.
The Ravens did have a decent offseason, bringing in Earl Thomas as well as two very talented receivers – to fill their biggest need – in the Big 12’s Marquise Brown, and Miles Boykin in the third round. This is enough to sway the NFL Picks into seeing the Ravens as a frontrunner to win the division again this season, despite the Cleveland Browns buying some superstars.
Brown comes into a good situation with the Ravens. Baltimore boasts an offensive line that could perform as a top-ten unit, with a mobile and crafty quarterback and strong running backs in Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards in the backfield. These offensive weapons will help to keep defenses honest while Marquise Brown could quickly become Jackson’s go-to receiver, while Willie Snead draws some attention away from the rookie – being potent while fit himself.
Kyler Murray could well become a hero in Arizona down the line, but right now, it’s Brown who has been drafted into the best situation. The Ravens were desperate for a top-class receiver to complement Jackson, and now the two seem destined to pick apart defenses while helping the team to challenge for the division title once again.