The decision of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert to delay by a year the launch of his NFL career will keep him from making a bunch of money in 2019 and, perhaps more importantly, moving toward a second contract that won’t be dictated by a rookie wage scale. It also will prompt teams to take a closer took at Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner.
And they are. Although Murray’s draft stock won’t be maximized until he makes it clear that football is his choice (his baseball agent predictably has said it’s not), Murray easily could be a first-round pick, especially with Herbert out of the mix.
As one evaluator who knows a thing or two about scouting quarterbacks told PFT of Murray, “He’s freaking good.”
More specifically, Murray has a “cannon” arm, and he’s “probably the best” quarterback in the draft class.
The drawback? “He’s small,” the source said. “Very small.”
That’s very true, and it’s been a very big issue for other quarterbacks, even if it shouldn’t be. With offensive lineman typically much taller than most quarterbacks, the view from the pocket often is obstructed. The best quarterbacks can read what’s happening down the field through the gaps between the blockers.
Another source previously told PFT that one of the first research items will be the number of Murray passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
Still, none of it matters until Murray makes it clear that he’s all in for football. That process commences with Murray applying, or not applying, for early entry to the draft in January. It continues with Murray preparing, or not preparing, for the draft and then showing up, or not showing up, for the Scouting Combine and then participating, or not participating, in a Pro Day workout and other pre-draft meetings and events and ultimately paying back, or not paying back, a signing bonus to the Oakland A’s.
Some think Murray could make more money as a quarterback than as a baseball player. He won’t be doing both, so he’ll need to eventually pick one and stick with it, at least for a year or two. Absent a clear commitment to football, it’s unlikely that anyone would invest a significant pick for what would be a one-year window for trying to get him to choose football — and to sign a contract that would conclusively slam the door on playing any other sport.