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SportOpinion: Kyler Murray made the right choice in picking NFL ahead of MLB

22:46  11 february  2019
22:46  11 february  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Report: Several NFL execs believe Kyler Murray will be first-round pick

Report: Several NFL execs believe Kyler Murray will be first-round pick There are plenty of question marks surrounding Kyler Murray as an NFL quarterback, but the way scouts view him is not nearly as important as the way team executives feel about the former Oklahoma star. For that reason, Murray still has a great shot at being taken in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Jason Cole of FanSided spoke with six NFL executives who believe there’s a good chance Murray will be a first-round pick. However, he will obviously have to commit to playing football before any team invests that much in him. I talked to 6 NFL execs who think Kyler Murray is a possible first round pick.

Now comes a fascinating experiment.

Kyler Murray has chosen football over baseball. IHis timing is perfect – and not because he was due to report to spring training this weekend. It’s the right move, and despite his coy non-answers in those interviews before the Super Bowl, no one should really be surprised.

He’ll forgo that $4.7 million bonus from the Oakland Athletics. He’ll likely become the first athlete ever chosen in the first round of both the Major League Baseball and NFL drafts.

A’s still unsure if Kyler Murray will report to training camp

A’s still unsure if Kyler Murray will report to training camp Position players are scheduled to report to training camp on Friday with the Oakland A’s , and the team is still uncertain if first-round pick Kyler Murray will be among them. According to Carrie Muskat of The Associated Press, Murray has a locker and a No. 73 jersey waiting for him at Oakland’s facility. However, the A’s do not know if Murray intends to report to camp later this week, and general manager David Frost said Sunday that team executives have been in contact with the former Oklahoma star’s family.

And never mind his size, no one should be too surprised if he excels.

Murray’s talent is undeniable. The Heisman Trophy winner is blazing fast, sure. Pay close attention to what he runs in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (if he runs, and boy, we hope he does); he might not just be the fastest quarterback in Indianapolis – he’ll be among the fastest players, period. He has an NFL arm and the accuracy to go with it. But yes, we know: he's tiny.

Murray is 5-9 7/8 in socks, according to Oklahoma’s media relations department (which leads some to wonder: how thick was the material?). But anyone who watched him propel Oklahoma into the College Football Playoff with a season that was better – this is still hard to type – than the performance by Baker Mayfield a year earlier – should recognize this much:

Kyler Murray is picking football over baseball

Kyler Murray is picking football over baseball Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is switching gears, picking a football career over baseball

Murray’s spectacular impact is outsized.

Sure, but can he do it at the next level? The question will dominate the next few weeks, during the run-up to the draft. And once a team has made him a first-round pick and bet on him as the face of the franchise – pretty clearly, this is going to happen; it’s only a question of which front office falls in love – the story line will only grow.

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Murray is not exactly a wisp, by the way. Oklahoma listed him at 195 pounds. Whatever his official weight in Indianapolis, he’s solidly built, especially in the lower body. Go ahead and cringe at the vision of a defensive end crushing Murray from the blind side – or in the open field, a safety blasting him at full speed – but it’s worth noting how few hard hits he actually took at Oklahoma. That’s in large part because of his awareness, but also because he is possibly the best quarterback at sliding, ever (he drops, then pops up like he’s just stolen second base).

Kyler Murray’s overall size, not just his height, could be an issue

Kyler Murray’s overall size, not just his height, could be an issue Concerns about the height of a quarterback are often overblown, as evidenced by the success of players like Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Baker Mayfield. But would-be franchise quarterback Kyler Murray presents concerns not only as to his height, but also as to his overall size. On the Thursday of Super Bowl week in Atlanta, [more]

It’s at least as tantalizing to envision Murray escaping the pocket, then rifling the ball to a receiver downfield. Or taking off, leaving defenders grasping at a vapor trail.

In baseball, he’s a five-tool prospect. But emphasis on the noun. Murray might one day become a baseball superstar, but he’d first have to work his way up through the minor leagues. He showed promise on the diamond a year ago with Oklahoma, but it’s a hard road and there are no guarantees.

In football, despite bigger risks, the payoff could be immediate. Murray arrives at the perfect time, with NFL front offices growing gradually more open toward quarterbacks who don’t fit their preconceived notions of size – and at least as important, suddenly enthralled with wide-open college offenses like Oklahoma’s modified Air Raid, which Murray took to another level. Ten years ago, or maybe even five, it’s likely scouts would have been far more skeptical of someone like Murray. He’d have gotten questions like, “Would you consider a position change?” And he’d probably have chosen baseball.

A’s not giving up on Kyler Murray, which could complicate his NFL prospects

A’s not giving up on Kyler Murray, which could complicate his NFL prospects When it comes to Kyler Murray’s commitment to football, actions will speak much more loudly than words. The problem for the NFL team that picks Murray could be that his ultimate action — a return to baseball — comes only after a draft choice has been squandered on him. Yes, Murray says he’s fully committed to football. But with the A’s still committed to pursuing Murray, Murray’s commitment can flip back to baseball just as quickly as his commitment flipped away from it. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Oakland A’s remain determined to sign Murray to a baseball contract.

But there’s now room in the NFL for a guy like Murray to move. And boy, can he ever do that.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Kyler Murray made the right choice in picking NFL ahead of MLB

Opinion: Kyler Murray made the right choice in picking NFL ahead of MLB© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC

Kyler Murray up to 206 pounds in advance of Combine.
When Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray gets to the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week, he’ll have some work to do to convince teams he’s made a serious commitment to playing football instead of baseball. But at least when he gets on the scale, there will be one bit of evidence backing him up. Via Peter [more]

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