Arizona Cardinals’ 5th Round QB Clayton Tune Says He’s Better Than Bryce Young, Will Levis, Other Rookies While Eyeing Starting Job

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Clayton Tune is confident in his ability to lead the Cardinals if called upon this fall. The 24-year-old quarterback believes that he is better than C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Levis, and all other signal-callers in this year’s class.

As things stand, Arizona is without a clear answer at quarterback for 2023. Kyler Murray is the starter, obviously, but he continues to recover from an ACL tear and a timeline for his return is unclear.

At best, the former No. 1 pick is back in October. At worst, he doesn’t return at all. The latter is unlikely, barring an unforeseen setback, but Murray will likely not be ready Week 1.

That leaves four quarterbacks in the mix to start in his place:

  • Colt McCoy
  • Jeff Driskel
  • David Blough
  • Clayton Tune

McCoy is the incumbent backup. Blough is a holdover after getting two starts last season. Driskel signed a one-year deal with the team last month.

Tune joined the organization less than two weeks ago as a fifth-round pick. He was the ninth quarterback selected in the 2023 NFL Draft with the 139th pick.

It seems as though the rookie slates fourth on that list, but first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing could choose to make it an open competition during training camp.

If that is the case, Tune has the numbers to make a case for the starting job in Murray’s absence. Additionally, if the staff wants to keep its offensive scheme the same, he might provide the most seamless transition.

Tune completed 67.8% of his passes for 7,618 yards and 70 touchdowns over his final two seasons at the University of Houston. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder also ran the ball 233 times over that same timespan for 698 yards and seven scores.

Playing in Dana Holgorsen’s pass-heavy offense helped Tune to light up the stat sheet, but there is no denying that he can sling it. And he can scoot for a big fella!

With all of that being said, Tune has to beat out three veterans to see the field as a rookie. It’s a tall task, and he’s up for it.

Clayton Tune does not lack confidence.

Although Tune has yet to sign with his new team, he is prepared to fill in for Murray. In his mind, there is no one in his class that compares. Not Levis, not Stroud, not Young, not Hendon Hooker, not Anthony Richardson, not Tanner McKee, not Dorian Thompson-Robinson, not Jake Haener, not Stetson Bennett. Nobody.

I think I’m the best quarterback in this class and God’s got a plan for me. If you look at my body of work, the effect that I have on my team that I play on, I elevate everyone around me.

I’m a natural leader, people follow me and see the work that I’m putting in and the mindset that I have, and they want to follow suit. I have that no-flinch mentality when things get going tough.

Those are some of the intangible things, and then being able to make every throw on the field, being able to make plays off schedule and being more mobile than people realize.

— Clayton Tune

There is a long way to go before Tune would step onto the field next fall. He has rookie camp, minicamp, OTAs and training camp to go before the preseason gets underway.

The path to starting in Murray’s place is lengthy, but Tune landed in a good situation. With a new coaching staff in place, everybody gets a clean slate without preconceived ideas as to who is going to do what.

And if anyone believes that he can beat out McCoy, Driskel and Blough, it’s Tune!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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