Kyler Murray has already signed a contract with the Oakland A’s to play professional baseball, but that has not stopped the NFL draft rumors from circulating. The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel reported that his sense is the Oklahoma quarterback is considering a potential career in the NFL.
“At Orange Bowl Media Day, it’s clear from Kyler Murray’s comments he is very much weighing whether to enter the NFL draft. Says he’d be lying to say it will be easy to give up football,” Mandel tweeted.
ESPN’s Todd McShay has publicly noted that Murray would be in the conversation to be a first-round pick if he declared for the NFL draft. This could be especially true with Oregon’s Justin Herbert deciding to go back to college for another season. McShay explained why Murray could be an appealing prospect despite his 5’11” height.
“You watch what’s happening on Sundays now,” McShay said on ESPN.com. “The NFL is becoming a quick-twitch, getting the ball out while on the move league. That’s who these guys are. Murray isn’t as big as Tua, but Tua isn’t as fast as Murray. Both release the ball with a crazy quick release. Both have the ability to run their way out of trouble, though Murray has to do that more than Tua does. Both make defenses have to respect the run and pass, to wait and react. You can debate who is better all you want. But I think what you need to do is appreciate having both of these guys in the same game. We don’t see this often, if ever.”
Murray’s Agent Scott Boras Has Tried to Shoot Down NFL Talk
Murray’s agent Scott Boras has tried to diffuse the situation by emphasizing Murray’s commitment to play with the A’s this spring.
“Kyler has every intention of fulfilling his agreement with the A’s and he’s grateful he has had the chance to pursue his college goals,” Boras told SFGate.com. “He will be in spring training with the A’s…Kyler said more than a week ago that he’s going to spring training. When people come around this kid and ask him all this stuff about his future and he said, ‘We’ll talk about it after the season,’ that’s what he’s saying. His attitude is, ‘The Oakland A’s gave me an opportunity to fulfill a personal goal in college football and when it’s complete, I’ll return to my contractual commitment.’”
Given Murray signed a $4.6 million contract with the A’s, Boras comments make sense. While Murray may eventually end up focusing solely on MLB, it is clear Murray will at least consider his NFL options after the season is over.
Murray Has Petitioned the NFL Draft Advisory Committee for a Projection
According to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, Murray has petitioned the NFL Draft Advisory Committee to get a projection on the range where he would likely be selected if he entered the 2019 NFL draft. The recent success of smaller quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes could help Murray’s stock.
These quarterbacks have different builds and there are sure to be teams that question Murray’s slight frame if he does declare for the NFL draft. Brugler projects Murray as a top-50 pick but reported most teams have not done a lot of work on the Oklahoma quarterback.
Murray is a naturally accurate passer. He isn’t always pinpoint and needs continued development with his placement, delivering to the correct shoulder and making things easier on his receivers. But regardless of whether he is throwing on the move or with an established base, Murray has an organic feel for using different ball speeds and trajectories to put the pass on his target…
“As you know, all it takes is one team to fall in love with him,” an NFL scout told The Athletic. “He is so dangerous with his legs and his arm, but every team is going to have a different opinion about the measurements.
“I’m not sure I could give you an accurate prediction for where he’ll be drafted because I don’t think many teams have done extensive work on him yet.”
The NFL is changing and becoming more open to innovation. Years ago, Murray would likely have been a Day 3 pick because of his size, but teams are seeing the success multi-dimensional quarterbacks are having at the pro level. All this makes for a difficult decision for Murray to make in the coming months.