The reason to pick Kyler Murray first: He’s good. I mean, really, really good.
The former University of Oklahoma quarterback and soon to be NFL draft pick has elite accuracy throwing the football. I didn’t say good accuracy. I didn’t say very good.
I spent the past two days watching tape of this guy based on multiple conversations I had with NFL sources and the tape simply screams franchise quarterback accuracy.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Murray has excellent velocity on the ball and can seemingly make all the throws. The release is quick and compact.
And Murray can be seen making plays both in and outside the pocket.
So I understand now what all the hype is about.
But watching just the last week of Murray news also makes me understand why the Heisman Trophy winner is so polarizing. And why he’s a tremendous gamble for any team picking him in the upcoming draft — especially in the first round.
So what’s the problem?
Let’s begin with the obvious.
Kyler Murray is an elf.
If you’re thinking Murray might be the next Tom Brady, you should first know for a fact Murray is shorter than Tom Brady’s wife. Giselle Bundchen, by the way, is 5-11.
Murray was listed at 5-10 by the Oklahoma Sooner football program but even folks within the program openly admit the quarterback isn’t quite that tall.
The tweet above from the Sooners’ assistant athletic director for Strategic Communications admits Murray measured below 5-10 prior to last season. And about those socks …
Players are measured in their bare feet at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. And the guess among some folks in the scouting community is Murray will be shorter in bare feet than he is in socks.
So maybe Murray will be in the 5-9 1/2 range. That’s quite short for an NFL quarterback.
Russell Wilson, who I’m being told is a comparable for Murray, measured 5-10 5/8ths at the Combine in 2012. And he was drafted in the third round as a result.
Baker Mayfield, who was the No. 1 overall selection last season, measured 6-feet and 5/8ths at the 2018 Combine.
So Mayfield is three inches taller than Murray while Wilson is one inch taller.
And what’s the big deal, right?
One inch is nothing. Three inches in nothing.
If it were nothing, it wouldn’t be the subject of the days and days of discussion you’re about to hear about this singular topic.
And, unfortunately for Murray, it doesn’t end there. Because there are other questions about him.
Because the kid seems to be prone to starts and stops that are giving people pause about his makeup. For instance ….
He made a commitment to play baseball for the Oakland A’s. And now he’s backing out of that commitment and says he’s fully committed to playing football.
He said he wanted to prove to NFL evaluators he was ready to be an NFL franchise quarterback. But earlier this week told the Fort Worth Star Telegram he’s uncertain whether he’ll throw at the combine…
…Which I suppose is farther down the road than refusing to say whether he’d be at the combine at all, something he had trouble saying during an uncomfortable interview with Dan Patrick three weeks ago.
And I know what many of you are thinking: Being tripped up at times or changing his mind has nothing to do with playing football. Well, I’d say that is probably more true when the player is not a quarterback.
But a quarterback must make decisions as part of the job.
He is the face of the franchise as part of the job.
He must convince teammates to follow him as part of the job.
It’s hard to do those things when a guy is unsure or changes his mind a lot or is freaked out by an uncomfortable situation.
One more thing: The perfect scenario for the Miami Dolphins is to be able to have Kyler Murray available at No. 13 when they pick in the upcoming draft.
Because I know if he’s available, the Dolphins will have multiple opportunities to trade down and pick up perhaps extra picks this draft and maybe a first-round pick next year for the move.
Or they’ll have the chance to simply pick Murray.
The Dolphins have been grinding on the draft morning, noon and night the past week or so and those meetings will continue this week. So it’s too early to say the Dolphins do or do not love Murray.
But this is certain: They would love the opportunity to make a decision on draft day. The Dolphins would love that scenario.