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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Scouts do not view Kyler Murray as first-round pick, but does it matter?

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray announced on Monday that he has decided to enter his name in the NFL Draft, and all indications are that he is serious about pursuing a career in football. Some scouts apparently think that would be a mistake.

Murray can still negotiate a deal with the Oakland A’s to play baseball even though he has declared for the NFL Draft, and both Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and The MMQB’s Albert Breer are reporting that most talent evaluators view him as a second- or third-round pick.

As Breer noted, the opinion scouts have of players and where they end up getting drafted is not always aligned. In fact, that is quite often the case with quarterbacks. Desperate teams in need of quarterbacks generally don’t wait around until the third round and risk missing out on a guy they want, and that would almost certainly end up happening with Murray.

The biggest concern with Murray is obviously his size, as he is listed at 5-foot-10 but is probably an inch shorter than that. That means he is about three inches shorter than fellow Oklahoma Sooner and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, who came from the same system as Murray and ended up being the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. Three inches of height may be the difference in scouts grading a player as a first- or third-round prospect, but are teams going to evaluate Murray the same way?

We highly doubt it. There’s a line of thinking that Murray could be doing all of this as a ploy to get more money from the Oakland A’s, but the reality is he probably knows teams that need quarterbacks are willing to draft them higher than talent evaluators think they should. With numerous teams searching for a franchise quarterback, there’s no reason to think he will slip out of the first round. Murray knows that, and it is likely his biggest motivation for pursuing a career in football when the A’s have $5 million waiting for him.

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