Much is being made of it, at least as it relates to his future as an NFL quarterback, but in reality how tall is Kyler Murray?
How accurately an athlete’s height and weight is listed is often subject to scrutiny, particularly height due to certain stigmas attached to being able to functionally play their position. This year’s short quarterback is Kyler Murray, the top-10 MLB draft pick who declared for the 2019 NFL Draft on Monday.
Oklahoma football listed the reigning Heisman Trophy winner at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds. Oklahoma baseball lists him at 5-foot-11. For his part, Murray told The Dan Patrick Show back in October that he’d “like to say” he’s 5-foot-10.
Never lacking for an opinion, last week on First Take Stephen A. Smith said it was “kind and generous” to say Murray is 5-foot-9.
All the speculation on and consternation over Murray’s height has led to a reaction and confirmation from Mike Houck, Oklahoma’s assistant athletic director for strategic communications.
So there it is, from someone in the proverbial room at Oklahoma–Murray is 5-foot-9 and 7/8-inches without shoes on. Rounding up to 5-foot-10 feels reasonable then, if only to get to a round, easily digestible mark.
If Murray goes all the way through to the NFL Combine late next month, he will be measured in Indianapolis with the requisite scrutiny that’ll come with.
There obviously aren’t many quarterbacks at or a little below 6-feet tall in the NFL, now or throughout history, and the ones we can think of quickly (Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Doug Flutie) were not first-round picks.
But Murray is widely considered a potential first-round pick in April, with some unnamed scouts placing him as a second or third-round pick. Should he be a first-round pick, Murray will be going against a lot of history.
The last quarterback listed under six feet tall drafted in the first round was Ted Marchibroda in 1953. Marchibroda is best-known for his long run through the 1970s, 80s and 90s as a head coach and an offensive coordinator in the NFL.
The other five quarterbacks all came before 1950, led by Davey O’Brien (1939), whose name is on the award given to the top quarterback in college football each year. Murray added the Davey O’Brien Award to the Heisman Trophy for his work this past season.
The stigma on short quarterbacks has been diminished a bit, but it’s still there to go with Murray coming in at less than 200 pounds. That overall body type doesn’t scream long career as an NFL quarterback, but there will be teams willing to make a significant bet on Murray when (or if) he decides to go all-in to play football.