Article by: Justin Imler
After the college football season ended in January, the most talked about topic was arguably which sport Kyler Murray was going to choose to pursue at the professional level. For those living under a rock when it comes to sports, Kyler Murray was the starting quarterback for Oklahoma this past season, and a great one at that. He took the Sooners to the College Football Playoff and won this year’s Heisman Trophy in the process. However, football is not the only sport that Kyler Murray can play at a high level, as he was also drafted 9th overall in last June’s MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. When this was first brought to light, it was just assumed that Murray would choose to play baseball at the professional level after the football season ended. As the season progressed though, and him continuing to dominate on the football field, the debates started flowing as to what sport he would ultimately choose.
Now this is a very unique topic in sports, as it is very rare that a player has the option to play two different professional sports. Since Murray was already a top pick in the MLB, and will most likely be a top 10 pick in May’s NFL draft, this is a decision that a lot of people were following. With all of the speculation and debates circling around, Kyler Murray did not take too long to make an official decision. A little over two weeks ago, Murray took to social media to announce his commitment to football.
“Moving forward I am firmly and fully committing my life to becoming an NFL quarterback…” (per @TheKylerMurray on Twitter). With this decision, he turns down a signing bonus that would have been around $5 million with the Oakland Athletics, but in the long run, I think Murray made the right choice. If Murray chose baseball, he would most likely be in the minor league system for at least a few seasons, even after signing the above average signing bonus. On the other hand, with Murray choosing the NFL, whichever team drafts him will most likely put him into a starting role right away. With that, he will also make more money right away with his first NFL contract. Simply put, he will be a well-known star right away in the NFL, which would not be the case if he chose baseball.
Now that the decision has been made, a whole new set of questions began to arise. Some of the main questions all pertaining around Murray’s size. Kyler Murray recently attended the NFL Combine, and on Thursday morning, his official combine measurements were released. Kyler Murray was measured at 5-foot-10 1/8 inches tall and weighed in at 207 pounds. The other main measurement that most NFL scouts will be concerned with is Murray’s hand size, which came out to be 9 1/2 inches. Overall these numbers are not the greatest when it comes to your average quarterback prospect, but Murray has not let his size limit his ability at the college level, and I do not expect that to be an issue at the NFL level either.
Murray has been compared to several successful NFL quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Baker Mayfield, who are all on the smaller side as well. To put numbers to numbers, during Russell Wilson’s NFL Combine, he measured at 5-foot-10 5/8 inches and weighed in at 204 pounds. Wilson’s hand size was also 10 ¼ inches. So, in comparison Wilson was only a fraction of an inch taller, with slightly larger hands. In conclusion, this proves that a quarterback of Murray’s size is more than capable of succeeding in the NFL.
So now, for the moment, we will have to wait. Murray most likely will not run or throw at the combine, and why should he? We already know that he is a top-level quarterback prospect, and all the NFL scouts are really worried about was his official size, which they now have. Right now, I think Murray is the number two quarterback prospect in this year’s draft behind only Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. I would be willing to bet that Murray will be a top 10 pick in this year’s draft, with some even reporting that he could go first overall to Arizona. Other teams like the Jaguars, Dolphins, and Redskins could also potentially trade up to snag the Heisman Trophy winner. I expect the New York Giants to draft Haskins, which leaves several teams in need of a QB, like the ones mentioned above, to all fight it out for Murray. There are however other prospects such as Duke’s Daniel Jones, and Missouri’s Drew Lock in this year’s draft class. Now not to say that these guys won’t succeed in the NFL, but I for one think that there is a pretty sizable gab between Haskins and Murray, and the rest of this year’s QB class. We'll just have to wait and see who gets drafted where, and what their NFL futures will hold.
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