Whether Kyler Murray's professional career will be spent playing baseball or football, we don't know yet, but we do know the Heisman Trophy winner won't be returning to Oklahoma next season. Murray announced he'll be entering the NFL Draft on Monday, which was the last day for early entrants to declare.
I have declared for the NFL Draft.— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 14, 2019
The fact Murray won't be returning to Oklahoma shouldn't come as a surprise. That seemed to be a given once the Oakland Athletics took him in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft. What wasn't expected was that Murray would not just go on to play one more season of college football, but have a transcendent season that saw him lead Oklahoma to a Big 12 title, the College Football Playoff and win the Heisman Trophy. His performance with the Sooners in 2018 raised his NFL stock, and by entering the draft, it's clear he's still exploring the option of playing football professionally.
Declaring for the draft does not affect Murray's status with the Oakland Athletics, however. It does not violate the terms of the deal he signed with them following last summer's draft. If Murray were to follow through with the NFL and sign a contract with an NFL team, he would then have to forfeit the signing bonus the Athletics signed him to following the draft.
Murray still has a few weeks to decide what he's going to do.
Odds are his decision will be based on what NFL teams tell him about his draft stock. As great as Murray was last season, there are still plenty of doubts about how NFL teams will view him. He's listed at only 5-foot-10 by Oklahoma, and since the AFL-NFL merger of 1970, there have been 107 quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Only one of them checked in at under 6-feet tall, and that was fellow Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who officially measured at 5-feet-11 and 3/4 inches during the NFL Combine. Murray is nearly two inches shorter than that, and that's if his listed height is accurate.
Murray threw for 4,361 yards, rushed for 1,001 yards and finished with 54 total touchdowns for the Sooners in 2018.