The Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday night was a surprising coronation for Kyler Murray, with the Oklahoma quarterback storming past Tua Tagovailoa in the stretch run. Will Murray follow in the footsteps of his former teammate Baker Mayfield and become a high draft pick? It seems unlikely.
Murray was the second straight Oklahoma quarterback to win the award, giving Lincoln Riley a pretty good resume two years into his stint as Sooners head coach. But despite that, Murray, who was MLB draft, after he concludes this season of college football.in the
But appearing on The NFL Today (noon-1 p.m. ET every Sunday on CBS!), Murray waffled on his future, declining to say whether or not he would he would attend the scouting combine and whether or not he would pursue football at the next level.
Kyler Murray asked by Coach Cowher about his baseball/football future in the pros. "To be honest I am just focused on the college football playoff ... We'll get to that down the line." Does not say one way or the other if he will attend the scouting combine— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 9, 2018
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media spoke with Murray's agent Scott Boras, who told Rapoport Murray is locked into playing baseball.
"[Boras] told me in no uncertain terms Kyler Murray is a baseball player, is going to show up for spring training in February for the Oakland A's. Remember he signed a $4.66 million contract after he was drafted," Rapoport said. "The agreement there was he would play one season of college football, and as far as Boras told me, contractually that was it. Once that season of college football was over, he is a baseball player, Boras said, there is nothing to figure out. It has in fact been decided."
Rapoport heard from scouts who said Murray would be a "Friday draft pick," potentially because of his height (5'9") and likely go in the second or third round.
However, there's a wide variance in terms of Murray's NFL prospects. ESPN's Adam Schefter spoke to one GM who saw Murray as a first-round pick.
An NFL general manager speaking Saturday about Heisman-Trophy winner Kyler Murray: “I really believe he’s a first-round pick, a late first, I really do. And the fact that Baker (Mayfield) is having a great year will help Murray, too....He’s going to be a first-round pick.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 9, 2018
This could make things interesting at least. Murray has signed a contract with the A's, he's prepped to play for the A's and he's clearly a big fan of playing baseball. Buuuuuuuut if he could land with an NFL team as a first-round pick, he would at least have to consider making the switch to football.
He's very good at playing quarterback and with modern NFL offenses involving spread schemes and college-style offenses, he could have success at the NFL level. More importantly, the guaranteed money in a rookie contract for a first-round pick would top the deal he signed with the A's.
On the other hand, anyone who is good enough to be a first-round MLB pick is an absolute lunatic to go and play football instead, even as a quarterback with a Heisman Trophy on his shelf. The NFL is littered with guys who lit up college only to fail at the NFL level.
Baseball, meanwhile, is littered with guys who are considered middling in the profession and being paid outrageous sums of guaranteed money.
But things are progressing in such a way that it's hard not to see Murray at least exploring the opportunity to try and play both sports. It could be similar to Russell Wilson, who was drafted by the Rockies. Murray could declare for the NFL Draft and see where he's selected and then try to play the MLB and NFL teams against each other for money (his NFL draft contract will be slotted) or just simply try and go down both paths to see where he has early success.
Whatever happens, it doesn't sound like Murray's choice is that cut and dry. Which could make things interesting for teams in multiple sports.