Take Two: Is Kyler Murray worthy of the No. 1 overall pick?
Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network.
At the combine, Murray measured in at 5-foot-10 and 207 pounds and he got his arm length and hand size measured, but the Sooners quarterback chose not to throw and did none of the testing drills.
At his recent pro day, Murray threw about 70 times on air but chose not to get measured, unleashing a torrent of conspiracy theories that his 5-foot-10 measurement in Indianapolis was generous. This is the pre-draft chatter around Murray, who has been rumored to go No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals if they decide to trade Josh Rosen, or he'll go somewhere else early in the first round.
The hype was ramped up recently by former NFL executive turned NFL Network analyst Charlie Casserly, who said unnamed sources told him only bad things about Murray’s meetings at the combine.
“He better hope (Kliff) Kingsbury takes him No. 1 because this was not good,” Casserly said on NFL Network. “These were the worst comments I ever got on a high-rated quarterback and I’ve been doing this a long time. … Leadership, not good. Study habits, not good. The board work, below not good. Not good at all in any of those areas. And raising major concerns about what this guy is going to do.”
After transferring from Texas A&M, Murray sat behind Baker Mayfield and then took over Oklahoma's offense this past season. He threw for 4,361 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven picks. He ran for 1,001 yards and 12 TDs. He led the Sooners back to the College Football Playoff and won the Heisman Trophy.
Is Murray a major risk - because of his height, his small resume and perceived concerns at the combine - or is the Sooners QB worthy of being the No. 1 pick, and if not, the first quarterback off the board early in Round 1?
FIRST TAKE: CAREY MURDOCK, SOONERSCOOP.COM
“I’ve talked to people recently who said, ‘When I measured at the combine, that’s the shortest I’ve ever measured.’ Multiple people have told me that. There are going to be people who doubt his height just like there are Oakland A’s fans who don’t think he’ll get drafted high and he’ll come play baseball. Everybody is hold onto something.
“The weird thing about Kyler is whatever your impression was coming into his workouts is the impression you have coming out of his workouts. He didn’t do anything but throw a football for about 70 passes and he got weighed and measured. Outside of that, he put himself in a position of, ‘Let my film talk.’ It’s pretty good film.
“It was probably smart by them, although all of us wanted to see how fast he could run the 40. I’ve heard 4.38, 4.35 is what he runs it in, but now it’s like government secret, it’s like Area 51. Nobody will even talk about it now. Lincoln (Riley) said there is nobody athletically like him playing quarterback in the NFL. It doesn’t matter how you test him. The fact that they played Alabama in the Orange Bowl and he was just fine kept him from having to do anything testing-wise.”
SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM
“He’s a risk because of his size. How many 5-foot-10 quarterbacks have been successful in the NFL? There have been shorter quarterbacks who have been successful in more recent years, but anybody that size is going to be a risk.
“Whoever drafts him is going to change their offense. Lamar Jackson was drafted by the Ravens and Baltimore’s offense was completely different under Joe Flacco than it was under Jackson. They will adjust to Murray’s skills no matter where he ends up going, even if it’s the Giants with Saquon Barkley. It doesn’t mean they’re going to stop running the football, they’ll run the football and include Murray and get him out in space and play to his strengths.
“I don’t care that he didn’t measure. He measured at the combine. How many times are you going to measure a guy? I don’t care he didn’t run. Just pop in the film and you’ll see how fast he is. I like him as a passer much more than Jackson. He’s much more refined technically. He has a better arm and he’s more accurate. He’s just not as big. But if Jackson can have the success he’s had then Murray could certainly have success.”