A dozen NFL clubs have shown more interest in Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray than others, and not surprisingly, the Cincinnati Bengals are among them. The club's reported interest in Murray as a potential successor to starter Andy Dalton, however, is just one of many possible destinations for one of college football's most prolific passers.
According to ajc.com, other clubs eyeing the projected second- or third-day draft prospect include the Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs. That doesn't exactly narrow the field too much, but it does represent a collection of clubs that either have an immediate need for a quarterback, or in most other cases, could use a young understudy.
Despite tearing his ACL in late November, Murray's rehabilitation is on track for him to compete in field drills, but not in timed drills, at Georgia's pro day on April 16.
"We don't see any point in trying to run a 40 (yard dash), short shuttles, or jumping and all of that stuff," said his agent, Pat Dye Jr. "He's just starting to incorporate throwing the football."
The Jaguars, Vikings, Browns, Texans and Raiders are in the greatest need of quarterback help among the 12. The Saints could be an intriguing landing spot, as well, given frequent style comparisons between Saints starter Drew Brees and Murray. Both are short by NFL standards, and although neither would be considered much of a rushing threat, both have the athleticism to move effectively behind the line of scrimmage.
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger predicted earlier this week that Murray will have the best NFL career of any quarterback in the 2014 draft class. Baldinger suggested his status as a mid-round pick may allow him to learn the NFL game without immediate pressure and expectations, quite possibly with winning talent around him, which could benefit his performance long-term.