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NFL execs rank the potential of Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones and other quarterbacks in the 2019 draft class

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Kyler Murray striving to be elite in 2nd season (2:39)

Kyler Murray discusses the next steps in his maturation as an NFL quarterback, plus the confidence he has in the Cardinals competing in the NFC West. (2:39)

As ESPN talked with more than 50 execs, coaches, scouts and players about the top players in the game, one question came up a few times unprompted from well-respected offensive minds and personnel guys:

What about Kyler?

That question was more an interjection as I rattled off some of the top names: Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and more.

Murray might not be a consensus top-10 quarterback in 2020, but he's coming. And fast.

"He's got something to him, man," one veteran NFL quarterback said. "He's got some magic to him."

Murray highlights a 2019 quarterback draft class that has a chance to flourish in 2020.

Last season was a mixed bag that saw Murray win offensive rookie of the year, but first-round picks Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Daniel Jones struggle on bad teams.

Gardner Minshew II showed enough to earn a starting job with a rebuilding Jacksonville Jaguars, while Drew Lock is well-stocked in Denver, and Jarrett Stidham has no promises in New England.

Here's where NFL execs rank the Year 2 quarterbacks entering 2020. We are keeping Stidham out of the top five, with an asterisk, because he didn't play significant snaps last year and the arrival of Cam Newton muddles his outlook.

1. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Pick: No. 1 | 2019 QBR: 55.7 (15th)
Stat to know from ESPN Stats & Information: Murray had a 63.3 QBR inside the pocket, which ranked 10th in the NFL. Outside the pocket, Murray's QBR dropped to 25.2, a mark that ranked 21st. His 38.1-point drop from inside to outside the pocket, was the sixth largest in the NFL last season.

How Murray offsets his 5-foot-9 frame with the ability to throw from the pocket is part Neo from "The Matrix" and part shortstop turning two.

"Kyler can still take a normal drop, then can makes instinctual lateral slides in the pocket to get himself into an open throwing lane," an NFC personnel exec said. "That's rare. That's the baseball in him."

Murray's ability to throw unscripted or from the pocket has people inside the league projecting big things for him.

Make no mistake: Murray is not a run-first quarterback. Many expected Murray to take off more behind a suspect offensive line, but he averaged 4.9 rushing attempts per game over the final nine games, strengthening those future Russell Wilson comps as a run-to-throw QB. He ran for more than 70 yards one time, in Week 5 against Cincinnati (10 rushes, 93 yards).

This is partly why an NFL coordinator said Murray will eventually be harder to stop than Lamar Jackson.

"[Kyler] neutralizes a good defensive line," the coordinator said. "Lamar, you know what you have to do to stop him. Not that it's easy. He's a runner. Kyler has that release."

Kliff Kingsbury's offense provides Murray with a full route tree to utilize, along with heavy doses of play-action and multiple weapons. And several evaluators peg DeAndre Hopkins as the perfect player for Murray because he can work out of the slot or outside and is good on second reaction plays, ideal for a quarterback throwing on the move.

Murray already proved accurate, completing 64.39% of his passes -- tops among rookies, 15th in the NFL -- for 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Baker Mayfield is the latest quarterback to thrive as a rookie and dive in his sophomore season.

"But Murray is different [from Baker] because the offense he plays in suits his skill set, the spread, predominantly in the gun, and he's played in it -- and he's got Nuk," the exec said, referring to Hopkins by his nickname.