There has been plenty of anticipation about whether Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray would enter the 2019 NFL Draft. And it seems we may now finally have the answer. It was originally expected that the signal-caller would be on his way to play baseball with the Oakland Athletics, who selected him in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft. But that’s no longer the case, according to a recent report.
As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle revealed, the Athletics expect Murray to enter the NFL draft.
The A’s expect Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the team’s top pick last June, to declare for the NFL draft on Sunday, multiple sources told The Chronicle on Wednesday.
As the articles goes on to point out, just because Murray is declaring does not mean that he will reject his deal with the A’s, which is worth $4.66 million. It does increase the probability of the Sooners quarterback opting to switch his career path, though. So, let’s take a look at the latest on Murray’s draft stock and latest projections/rumblings.
Kyler Murray NFL Draft Projections
While the projections have been somewhat all over the place on Murray, and many places haven’t even scouted him, one comment jumps out from a top draft analyst. As Marc Tracy of The New York Times revealed, ESPN’s Todd McShay made a bold claim that he believes the Sooners quarterback would be a first-round pick if he entered his name.
“He would be a first-round pick if he committed and promised he was going to play football,” the ESPN analyst Todd McShay said.
McShay proceeded to point out that while Murray stands just 5-foot-10, that the “league’s attitude toward the prototypical quarterback is rapidly changing,” as Tracy revealed. He also states that due to the Oklahoma quarterback’s speed and big arm that he would have the potential to succeed.
Murray’s numbers during the 2018 season are tough to ignore, as he threw for 4,361 yards, rushed for 1,001 yards and scored 54 combined touchdowns. On top of that, he did a great job protecting the football, throwing just seven interceptions and completing 69 percent of his passes over 14 games.
Others See NFL Future for Kyler Murray
With many evaluators not including Murray in their breakdowns, it hasn’t kept the overall reviews from being positive on his outlook. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. spoke about Murray in December and stated that he had “no doubt” the Heisman Trophy winner would get drafted.
“I have no doubt he’d get drafted if he entered the 2019 draft, though. Yes, he’s small at 5-foot-10, but he’s one of the best dual-threat college quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. The last Heisman Trophy winner to go undrafted, by the way? Oklahoma’s Jason White.” Kiper stated.
ESPN’s Mike Sando spoke with an NFL evaluator who praised Murray’s game on a variety of different levels. But in the end, he admitted that Murray is a “wild card” and that he could go early, but that there’s also a lot of unknown.
“Of all these guys, Kyler Murray is probably the rarest in terms of his talent as a runner, his speed, his athletic ability, and then he can pass, but he is as small as we have ever seen. He is smaller than Russell Wilson, but like Russell, he is smart. You see the baseball player in him — he gets down, does not take big hits. As the NFL game goes more toward the college game and as the rules limit how defenses can hit, there may be a place for him because he is talented. He is the wild card who could go early, but we just don’t know.” — NFL evaluator, as told to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Murray’s size is certainly a big question mark, even beyond just his height. The Sooners quarterback is listed at roughly 195 pounds which would almost certainly make him the lightest player at his position in the draft. Regardless, the upside is there and much of it will come down to how NFL teams and scouts view his upside.
There’s no question that all eyes will be on Murray and how his draft stock shakes out over the coming months.