Aaron Murray had to wait longer than he would have liked, but still ended up in a pretty good spot.
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Murray in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday, taking the former Georgia quarterback with the 163rd overall pick.
Murray, who broke many Georgia and SEC passing records in four years as a starter, was the second SEC quarterback taken in the draft. He was way behind first-round pick Johnny Manziel, but one spot ahead of Alabama's A.J. McCarron (who was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals) and LSU's Zach Mettenberger (who went in the sixth round.)
He was the eighth quarterback taken in the draft.
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"I’m excited," Murray said in comments posted on the Chiefs' web site. "I’m very excited. We were watching the draft as a family and I said, starting with Kansas City to New Orleans, somewhere in those five to seven picks, I felt like I had a good shot and obviously, as soon as Kansas City got on the board, I got the call. It’s definitely very exciting. I’m extremely excited about the whole thing and I’m looking forward to getting up there and getting to work."
Dom Green, Kansas City's director of college scouting, told reporters in Kansas City that the Chiefs were attracted to Murray's leadership abilities, the fact teammates "gravitate" towards, and his accuracy.
"His accuracy is the No. 1 thing," Green said."Beyond that, his other major production. I mean he's the all-time leading touchdown passer in SEC history. ... He threw for over 13,000 yarrds in his career, and to be a four-year starter there at Georgia is something special."
Green was at the Georgia-LSU game last year and said he was impressed with Murray's ability to throw the deep ball. He also wasn't as hung up on Murray's height (6-feet and change).
"Most of the shorter quarterbacks have a lot of batted balls, that type of thing. But I didn't see that with Aaron," Green said. "He did a nice job of hitting the lanes and getting balls to the receivers."
The Chiefs have veteran Alex Smith entrenched as the starter, and Chase Daniel as the top backup. Murray, presuming he's full-strength after tearing his ACL last November, would seem to have a chance eventually to compete with Daniel, a former Missouri star, for the No. 2 job. Daniel and Murray are both listed at 6-feet tall. The Chiefs also have former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray.
Kansas City head coach Andy Reid also has experience molding a quarterback who wasn't drafted high. Two years ago as the Eagles' coach Reid drafted Nick Foles in the third round, and Foles has emerged as that team's starter.
Murray becomes the third Georgia player on the Chiefs' roster. Linebacker Justin Houston was a Pro Bowler last year. Cornerback Sanders Commings sat out last year with an injury.
Murray became the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000 yards in four different seasons. But his ACL injury, height and perceived arm strength diminished his prospect status.