Now that reigning Heisman winner Kyler Murray has officially declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, we can look forward to months of speculation about how his game will transfer to the professional level.
It’s something we saw with both Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Both exceeded expectations en route to tremendous rookie seasons for their respective teams.
But Murray is an entirely different monster. Coming in at under 5-foot-10, he’s certainly not your prototypical quarterback. Having been selected in the top 10 of the 2018 MLB Draft, there’s also something to say about his commitment to football.
These are the narratives and myths that will surround Murray as he heads into April’s draft. We’re here to dispel each and every one of them.
“He’s too small”
Murray might be smaller than both Drew Brees (6-foot) and Russell Wilson (5-foot-11). But are those two-to-three inches really going to matter too much in the NFL? Both Brees and Wilson proved that smallish quarterbacks can have success in the NFL. To a lesser extent, the 6-foot-1 Mayfield also proved this during his rookie season with the Browns.
Some might want to compare Murray to Browns draft bust Johnny Manziel. Almost the same stature and the like. That’s absurd. The only comparison here is that both played college ball.
Murray is a much different type of quarterback with an ability to have success in the pocket. Johnny Football relied on his athleticism to get things done. There’s no reason to believe Murray can’t see over defensive lines from the pocket. To suggest this is downright false. Period.
“Not committed to football”
There’s some legitimacy to this. Playing quarterback at the highest level requires year-round training. A commitment to perfecting your craft on a daily basis. This grind does not simply come to a conclusion when a season ends. Quarterbacks can’t just pick up where they left offer when July comes calling.
This is also a false narrative when it comes to Murray. His passion for football is represented in the fact that he might very well give up multiples of millions in cold hard cash MLB’s Oakland Athletics offered him. It’s also somewhat misleading. Murray will not play both baseball and football professionally. This has already been made clear.
At issue here is some surface-based thinking that Murray being a two-sport star at Oklahoma suggests he’s not committed to football. It’s the same issue North Carolina State’s football program had with Russell Wilson before the eventual Super Bowl winner transferred to Wisconsin. How did that turn out for Mr. Wilson? Come on.
“Big 12 quarterbacks rarely succeed”
There’s an amazing stat going around the football world — one that some are using to conclude Murray can’t be successful in the NFL. Kansas City Chiefs signal caller Patrick Mahomes just became the first-ever Big 12 quarterback to win an NFL Playoff game. Given how long that conference has been around, this is some astonishing stuff.
However, using this to conclude Murray’s game won’t transition to professional football is downright absurd. We’re now somehow going to use the lack of success relating to other quarterbacks as a way to gauge how good Murray will be?
Why not conclude this former Sooners star won’t be successful because his namesake, Aaron Murray, struggled in the NFL after a strong career at Georgia? Again, give me a break!