In a decision that had serious consequences in two of the four major professional sports leagues in the U.S., Heisman Trophy winner, presumptive first-round NFL draft pick and first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics, Kyler Murray, picked a future in football over a career in baseball. Before making that decision, Murray spoke to another Heisman Trophy winner who recently transitioned from professional football to professional baseball.
On Saturday, Tim Tebow, the former Florida and NFL quarterback who made the switch from football to baseball and is now an outfielder in the Mets' organization, revealed what advice he gave Murray before Murray decided on the NFL. The 2007 Heisman winner told the 2018 Heisman winner to "follow your heart."
"You know what? Don't do it for your agents, or your friends and sometimes necessarily even your family," Tebow said he told Murray, per ESPN. "Do it for what's on your heart, and don't let other people define you. You're going to have all these coaches that you look up to and everybody else that's going to tell you what they think, but what's most important is following your heart and your passion. And so, I don't know, hopefully he did that."
Murray appears to have done exactly that. When Murray announced his intention to commit to football a week ago, he wrote that "football has been my love and passion my entire life."
And so, he's now set to begin the arduous draft process with the rest of the NFL hopefuls. The combine -- the first step in the process -- won't begin until next week, but Murray has already found himself the subject of draft speculation. Even before he officially declared for the NFL, a clip of Kliff Kingsbury saying in October that he would take Murray No. 1 overall if he ever had the chance to re-emerged. Sure enough, Kingsbury is now the coach of the Cardinals, which means he now has the chance to take Murray No. 1 overall. The rumors connecting Murray to the Cardinals have forced the team to issue their support for 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen, but that likely won't be enough to quell the rumors.
Of course, teams other than the Cardinals will be interested in Murray's services. CBS Sports draft writer Ryan Wilson ranked the 10 best fits for Murray. The Cardinals lead the way, followed by the Raiders, Giants, Jaguars, and Broncos. Basically, any team in need of a long-term franchise quarterback will be interested in Murray. After all, Murray is the second-best quarterback in this year's draft class, according to CBS Sports draft writer Chris Trapasso's latest rankings.
Murray might've picked football over baseball because he loves football more, but he also might've picked football over baseball because he's one of only three potential franchise quarterbacks in a draft for a sport that values franchise quarterbacks over anything and everything else. In baseball, he would've been just another highly touted prospect toiling away in the minor leagues. In the NFL, he'll immediately become the most important and recognizable player in whatever organization ends up taking him in this year's draft.