Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield among top ranked deep passers

A pair of former Oklahoma quarterbacks are among the top deep-ball passers in the league.

Both Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield are ranked among the league's top deep passers according to Nick Shook, an NFL.com columnist, heading into the 2020 season.

His rankings most weighted metric ‘is completion percentage above expectation, which is the difference between a quarterback's actual completion percentage and expected completion.’  It gives each throw that is beyond 20 yards a positive or negative grade in regard to the expectation of the completion of a throw.

Shook predicts Mayfield's numbers (35.9% +3.9% last season) will be ‘boosted’ this season after his top receiving targets Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham recover from off-season surgeries.

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“Interestingly, Mayfield's deep-ball passer rating was significantly worse than his rookie season (as was much of his game from Year 1 to Year 2), dropping from 106 to 72.9,” Shook writes, who ranks Mayfield the tenth best deep passer in the league.

“The heaves for big plays turned into heaves for big turnovers in 2019 for Mayfield, who was one of two quarterbacks on this list to post an even or worse TD-to-INT ratio on deep passes.”

Murray completed 41.0 percent of his deep passes, +6.6 percentage points above expectations his rookie season.

Shook, who ranks Murray fifth, writes “Murray was the beneficiary of open receivers (third-highest rate in this group of QBs) and a very low pressure rate (13.1 percent, by far the lowest of these QBs) in launching his deep passes, but that's not to diminish what the No. 1 overall pick did as a rookie.”

“His total number of DIMES (six) rivaled the rest of those passers on this list, and he often benefitted from defenses who respected his ability to run enough to avoid rushing him with full intensity, instead protecting against the big run and also allowing him to read defenses, ” Shook adds.

Shook ranked Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott his top deep passer ahead of the 2020 season.

It previously stated Shook's “rankings take into account if a completion of a throw beyond 20 yards is above or below expectation.” 

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