The poking and prodding of players that annually takes place at the NFL Combine caused a seismic shift to the draft landscape Thursday when the results on a small man were revealed.
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was measured.
And the Heisman Trophy winner, a question mark to some personnel people because he lacks prototypical size and bulk, came away from the process a big winner.
Murray’s height came in at 5-10 1/8.
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Murray’s weight came in at 207 pounds.
His hand size came in at 9 1/2.
His arm length came in at 28 1/2.
His wingspan came in at 69 1/2.
Murray thus made himself a lot of money. Because he measured just slightly shorter than Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
And because he weighed three pounds more than Wilson did at the 2012 Combine.
And because his hand size was bigger than that of Baker Mayfield, last year’s first overall draft pick. Murray’s hands are the same as Matt Ryan’s, and Andy Dalton’s, and Sam Bradford’s, and Lamar Jackson’s, and Mitch Trubisky’s.
So Murray is stacking numbers that suggest he is comparable to some quarterback who have enjoyed NFL success. And that suggests he can indeed play and succeed at the NFL level.
Murray, you must know, is doing this armed a tape from Oklahoma that screams great accuracy, and electric playmaking ability outside the pocket, and a quick release.
All those things are great news for the player because it could mean NFL teams would be less concerned about committing to him as their first-round selection in the coming draft.
The bad news for the Miami Dolphins is it could mean Murray won’t be around when they’re scheduled to pick at No. 13 in the first round.
The Dolphins, regardless of their internal evaluation of Murray, would love for the quarterback to be available at No. 13 because they believe even if they don’t wish to take him, they could sell the pick in a trade down scenario and add a couple of good picks in the exchange.
More importantly, the Dolphins might be eying Murray for their own purposes — as in, they might like to pick him. They certainly are saying good things about him.
“I think he had a phenomenal year this year.,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said of Murray on Wednesday. “I think he’s a great athlete. I think he’s a very good player.”
And if the Dolphins really love Murray, him becoming more attractive to other teams is bad news.
The Dolphins will be moving on from starter Ryan Tannehill this offseason, per team sources. That’s not new. So they need a starting quarterback. And while sources have indicated they wish to set themselves up for a run at a great quarterback class expected to come out in the 2020 draft, the team is nonetheless studying this year’s crop in case someone interests them enough to pick.
“I’ve watched a good number of them,” Flores said. “It’s a good group. Again, the evaluation is still ongoing. We’ll meet a group of them this week and that’s a big part of the evaluation. Again, we won’t be able to pick them all, we know that, but we’ll go through the evaluation process.
“Right now, we’ve kind of talked about the types of players we’re looking for. You guys have already heard it – we want them smart, we want them tough, mentally and physically. We want them fundamentally sound.
“We want them to be able to play under pressure. We want to be able to coach them hard. This is a demanding league, so we have to be demanding on our players. They need to understand that.”
The Dolphins scheduled a meeting with Murray this week — one of their 15-minute interviews.
But the draft process is not done in a vacuum. Murray has a full dance card of meetings although national reporters have said he will not throw or run at the Combine.
Then there’s this: With Murray’s measurables offering great news for the player, and his tape suggesting he should be a very high pick, the other question about him will be off-field issues that could affect success.
Those will require deeper investigation. The Dolphins will do the research. But so will the other potential quarterback-needy teams.
And many of those teams are scheduled to pick before Miami.
Arizona is at No. 1.
The New York Giants are at No. 6.
Jacksonville is at No. 7.
Denver is at No. 10.
All would have to pass on Murray, or the Dolphins would have to vault at least some of them, to try to nab Murray.
Following the reveal of Murray’s combine measurables, that would be more difficult.
By the way, here are the measurables — height, weight, hand size — for other QBs in this class:
Dwayne Haskins: 6033, 231, 9 5/8.
Drew Lock: 6036, 228, 9.
Daniel Jones: 6051, 221, 9 3/4.
Jarrett Stidham: 6023, 218, 9 1/8.
Will Grier: 6024, 217, 9 3/8.
Ryan Finley: 6040, 214, 9 1/2.