Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray shunned baseball and will fully commit to the NFL. Where will he go in the NFL Draft?
Oh, will this be really, really fun.
Now that Kyler Murray has officially shunned baseball and has decided to become an NFL star, this is about to become a blast of a next few months.
If you thought trying to figure out where Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson could, should and would go in last year’s NFL Draft, three words about evaluating and projecting what’s going to happen with Kyler Murray.
Good … (bleep)ing … luck.
For the record, I’m still a firm believer that the Browns way, WAY overdrafted Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick – will be more than happy to eat it if he even gets to a Super Bowl – and continue to think that, with time, Sam Darnold and Jackson are the guys to develop. With that in mind, Murray is about as dangerous a you-might-not-want-to-be-the-guy-who-passes-on-THIS-guy pick as it gets.
This is going to be a LOADED first round, but not at quarterback.
If you’re taking Murray in the top 15, that means you’re passing on a corner like Greedy Williams out of LSU, or a pass rusher like Montez Sweat out of Mississippi State, or even a defensive tackle the caliber of Houston’s Ed Oliver, whose stock is starting to slide a bit.
Really? You’re going to take a puny quarterback No. 1 overall over Nick Bosa or Josh Allen or Quinnen Williams? Nah. My guess is that Murray falls to the late first round, but that’s what I thought would happen with Mayfield, too.
There’s no comp. Murray isn’t as big as Mayfield, who isn’t exactly Ben Roethlisberger or Cam Newton size-wise. In terms of deadly accurate, smallish baseball players, Murray isn’t as built or as thick as Russell Wilson.
The patron saint of tiny quarterbacks is Doug Flutie, but the 5-11ish Murray will measure out to be close to where the just-under 6-0ish Fran Tarkenton – another smallish passer who could really, really move around.
But this isn’t the 1970s, and also, this isn’t last year’s draft.
Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins has the upside and the NFL makeup to be the top quarterback off the board, but opinions are going to wildly vary when it comes to where Daniel Jones of Duke and Drew Lock of Missouri go. West Virginia’s Will Grier and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham will get some love, but this is nowhere near the quarterback class of last season.
Even more to the point, unlike last year, there aren’t as many teams that desperately need a quarterback. Unless someone makes a wacky move – like Kliff Kingsbury ditching Josh Rosen to go with Murray No. 1 overall – only three teams have to take a quarterback, and only three others might take one, but could wait a bit.
So which teams are going to be deep in the Kyler Murray hunt?
Teams that must take a quarterback
New York Giants: 6th overall pick
After going with Saquon Barkley over Darnold and a number of other good options last year, there has to be a move to get the passer of the future. Haskins is the safe call, but Murray and Barkley in the same backfield? Get your popcorn ready.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 7th overall pick
Murray would add a flash of excitement to get over the Blake Bortles experience, but again, this is such a buyer’s market for quarterbacks that it might be silly to take one here with so many other great talents on the board.
Washington Redskins: 15th overall pick
Alex Smith has to be able to walk okay again, much less try to get back to the NFL. This is probably the perfect spot for Murray. At 15, it’s the safer sort of chance-worth-taking pick.
Teams that might take a quarterback
It all depends on who sees Murray as a generational, game changing talent. It only takes one …
Denver Broncos: 10th overall pick
Case Keenum was fine, but the offense needs a dynamic force. This is where Daniel Jones probably goes if it’s not Murray.
Cincinnati Bengals: 11th overall pick
New era, new ideas, new head coach. Andy Dalton is still a viable NFL starter, but Murray might be the shot in the arm to counterbalance the excitement over Mayfield in Cleveland.
Miami Dolphins: 13th overall pick
Like Washington with the 15th pick, this would be about right. With cap space an issue, ditch Ryan Tannehill and get the quarterback of the future on a rookie contract.
Wild card teams that must take a quarterback
You never know who might want to make a move – sort of like Baltimore taking Lamar Jackson with Joe Flacco still around.
Arizona Cardinals: 1st overall pick
At Texas Tech, Kliff Kingsbury famously said he’d go with Murray with the first overall pick. Here’s your chance. Move Josh Rosen, get a boatload of draft picks for him, and Murray is right there.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5th overall pick
Yeah, the franchise committed to Jameis. New head coach Bruce Arians might be thinking otherwise.
New England Patriots: 32nd overall pick
Good luck getting this by the GOAT – considering Tom Brady has all the juice right now and doesn’t think he’s slowing down – but the team has to address the position. At the very least – if Murray last’s this long – Bill Belichick might have a package or two to design for the Heisman winner.