Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray has decided to fully pursue football over baseball this spring.
NFL executives can now begin dreaming of Kyler Murray.
After months of uncertainty, the former Oklahoma Sooner quarterback — and outfielder — has decided to pursue football despite being drafted last June by the Oakland A’s in the MLB Entry Draft. His declaration is key to the NFL . Without his commitment, multiple NFL general managers told FanSided that he would not be drafted in the first three rounds.
“Unless he committed, there’s no way you could risk wasting the pick,” one NFL GM told FanSided’s Jason Cole in January. Six NFL personnel men have told FanSided they believe Murray has a chance to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft in April.
Murray was juggling both football and baseball commitments since he declared for the NFL draft a month ago. Recently, it appeared like football was overtaking baseball as Murray’s career of choice. The quarterback is planning on attending the NFL combine to show case his skills against the other top players at his position. This audition will go a long way for his draft prospects.
There is still plenty of work for Murray to do in regards to his football future. For starters, he needs to get a football agent. FanSided’s Matt Verderame reported over the weekend that Murray dis yet to pair with one. Murray would be wise to hire an agent before the combine on February 26th.
For all the fanfare and hype surrounding Murray, the NFL will likely have questions about his future at the position. Murray’s diminutive stature will be a hot topic throughout the draft process. Should he go in the first round, he would be the first quarterback selected to check-in at under six-feet tall since 1953. Last year’s first-overall pick and former teammate of Murray, Baker Mayfield, was considered a smaller quarterback but still hit 6-foot-1 on the measuring stick.
This year’s quarterback class should help Murray, though. Each of the draft’s top quarterbacks have some holes in their game that makes this a weak quarterback class. Murray will compete with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Missouri’s Drew Lock as the first quarterbacks taken. All it takes is one team to fall in love with Murray’s enchanting skill set to make him a top-10 pick.
MLB’s Oakland Athletics have to be disappointed by this decision. Murray was the team’s first-round draft pick in June’s MLB draft. He was considered a top-five prospect in the team’s organization despite never playing an inning. Murray was even receiving special treatment from the MLB allowing Oakland to give him extra money in signing bonuses if he had signed a new contract. There is still a chance that he could do all the requisite work required to get drafted to the NFL and return to Oakland for spring training. That looks less likely now with his declarative tweet.
A strong statement, like the one Murray tweeted will go a long way with the NFL. He needs to build off that at the combine and show the front office folks that he is committed to this game and this game only.