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Kyler Murray’s Rushing Numbers Were Even Better Than They Looked

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs for a touchdown ahead of Kansas defenders during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs for a touchdown ahead of Kansas defenders during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.

Kyler Murray’s rushing statistics in 2018 were impressive, as the Oklahoma quarterback carried the ball 140 times for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns, an average of 7.2 yards per carry.

But they actually undersold just how dynamic he was with his legs.

In college football, sacks count as rushing plays, which means the No. 1 overall pick was penalized each time he was brought down behind the line of scrimmage on passing attempts. In the NFL, on the other hand, sacks count against a team’s passing yards.

Murray was sacked 18 times for 109 yards in his Heisman Trophy-winning campaign with Oklahoma. If NFL calculations were used, he would have instead finished the year with 122 carries for 1,110 yards, an average of 9.1 yards per attempt.

Murray didn’t run the 40-yard dash during the pre-draft process, but said on draft night he’s confident he is a 4.3-second 40 guy, and wondered aloud if he would have registered in the 4.2 range.

While he’s not going to average more than nine yards per carry in the NFL, Murray will no doubt be a headache for opposing defenses. It will be interesting to see where he ends up on the yards-per-carry spectrum when all is said and done.

Table inside Article
NFL Quarterback Yards/Attempt (min. 300 carries)
1. Michael Vick 7.0
2. Bobby Douglass 6.5
3. Randall Cunningham 6.4
4. Greg Landry 6.2
5. Colin Kaepernick 6.1
6. Steve Young 5.9
7. Archie Manning 5.7
8. Russell Wilson 5.7
9. Tyrod Taylor 5.6
10. Donovan McNabb 5.6
11. Ken Anderson 5.6
12. Roger Staubach 5.6
13. Fran Tarkenton 5.4
14. Ward Cuff 5.4
15. Steve McNair 5.4
16. Cam Newton 5.2
17. Aaron Rodgers 5.2
18. Daunte Culpepper 5.2
19. Kordell Stewart 5.1
20. Joe Theismann 5.1

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