A decade ago, the idea of Chris Grier using a first-round pick on a 5-foot-10, 207-pound quarterback who had fewer than 20 college starts would have been farcical.
Grier learned from Bill Parcells, who valued size and experience.
Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray lacks both.
But Grier’s thinking on the matter has evolved, an NFL executive familiar with Grier’s thinking tells the Miami Herald.
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“Chris is open-minded,” the source continued, “and the game has changed.”
Does that mean Grier would definitely take Murray if he were available at 13? No. Size is still a factor.
But it does mean that you cannot rule that possibility out, either.
And the source thinks there’s a real chance that Murray goes later than the current conventional wisdom. The NFL executive has great skepticism about the Cardinals taking Murray No. 1 overall, and thinks he could slip out of the top 10.
He believes Murray will be one of four quarterbacks taken in the first round, but had a higher opinion of Missouri’s live-armed Drew Lock than Murray.
“He looks like [Antwaan] Randle El,” the source said of Murray.
Randle El was a smallish, dynamic quarterback at Indiana University in the early 2000s. The Steelers drafted him in the second round and made him a wide receiver. The comparison does have merit, as the two players have similar body sizes.
“He will make splash plays,” the source continued. “But the concern is, when he’s forced to make third-down throws from the pocket, can he do it? His ability to change arm angles is an issue.”
That final criticism is interesting, given that Murray is also a gifted baseball player.
One more concern about building a franchise around a dual-threat quarterback: “If he gets hurt, who’s your backup going to be?”
The thinking is, the source continued, that if you craft an offense around Murray’s very unique set of skills, what happens if he’s unavailable for a week or two?
Major changes would need to be made on the fly if his backup is a traditional drop-back passer.
The source went on to say it will take some “big [guts]” for a team to draft Murray in the top five.
Or to put another way: Grier and Brian Flores have waited their whole lives for this opportunity. Are they willing to bet their career on Murray, who comes with great potential but also great risk?