Kyler Murray made waves Wednesday night when news broke that he would be entering the NFL Draft. Murray, the Heisman trophy winner, was the ninth overall pick last year with the Oakland Athletics. It was assumed that he would go straight to baseball after he finished up his time at Oklahoma. However, he exploded back onto the scene, and now NFL teams have the predicament of when to draft him.
Murray was electrifying on the college stage. He played in the offense happy Big 12 and lit up the entire conference. Of course, no one plays defense in the Big 12, but the stats Murray put up were impressive. He finished the year with 4,361 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also was 69% on total passing on the year.
Now, NFL teams have the hardest question with one of the most unique situations in the draft in a long time, do you take a chance on Murray?
My quick and easy answer: no. Don’t do it.
Here’s my more long-winded answer: Murray has the arm strength and the deep ball to make in the NFL. He put that on display against the Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl. That deep touchdown that he threw in the third quarter was a thing of beauty. That is the one thing that Oklahoma always does well: having good deep ball quarterbacks. They have the arm and can hit the receivers in stride, and Murray is no different.
He has the intangibles to be an electrifying NFL quarterback. He surely burst onto the scene this year as Oklahoma’s quarterback and teams would have to game plan around him for days because of his ability to light up a scoreboard. However, it is hard to see him as a realistic option for a viable starter in the NFL.
Most quarterbacks that come from the Big 12 or have only one year of real experience in college football make me weary as someone analyzing talent. Murray would run into trouble against top defenses, such as Alabama, and even against not as great defenses, such as Army and Texas. He had too many off games for me to buy too much into the stock of Murray being a future starter in the NFL. Those games speak for itself.
No matter what scouts think of what Murray can do at the pro level, he is a playmaker. That is what will get him drafted. Scouts will fall in love with the tape of Murray and be excited over the fact that he can elude almost any defender. He has elite level speed, but it has for running quarterbacks to keep that style up.
Look at quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and others. They have become more of a pocket passer as they have matured in the league. Do they still run? Of course. Wilson is a magician in the pocket. But, that is not the type of game that Murray plays. Murray is a player that wants to run at the drop of a hat. He senses a little bit of pressure and makes a poor decision. NFL quarterbacks do not play like Murray. Therefore, I don’t know how successful Murray would really be at the next level.
I have on guarantee for you when it comes to Kyler Murray: some team is going to fall in love with him. And when I say fall in love with him, I mean draft him in the first round. We have seen it in the past with players where one coach loves a player they would do anything to get him. It is not any different for Murray. Some coach is going to draft him in the first round. It may not be top 10, but definitely the bottom of the first round at the very least.
My advice to teams on Murray, stay away from him. You do not want to be put in a Bo Jackson or John Elway type situation. Jackson did play both, and played both very well, but was so run down that his career was cut short in both. Elway never actually went through with playing for the New York Yankees, but it cost the Colts a lot by having to trade him. Murray is no different than those two. The benefits do not outweigh the cost at all. Murray is not the prospect or distraction you want from a player coming out of college.