Justin Herbert’s loss could be Kyler Murray’s gain (if he chooses football)

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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.

22 responses to “Justin Herbert’s loss could be Kyler Murray’s gain (if he chooses football)

  1. Bama will be the closest thing Kyler has ever seen to an NFL defense. That game should be pretty illuminating in terms of how legit (or not) he is as an NFL QB prospect.

  2. Baseball would be the best career choice for him if he can hit a major league curve ball. Given his frame and size, he’s probably not going to last long in the NFL.

    Short term the NFL contract would pay more, but if he’s an above average baseball player he’ll have a much bigger lifetime income with MLB.

  3. research ‘QB Heisman Trophy winner in nfl’ – they disappoint more than pan out…

    Marcus Mariota – often injured
    Jameis Winston – 1 of the worst turnover machine
    Johnny Manziel – out of NFL
    Robert Griffin III – Backup
    Cam Newton – still starts but diva issues
    Sam Bradford – often injured backup
    Tim Tebow – out of NFL

    All Teams that are needing starting QBs should avoid Murry… only teams with journeyman at Qb should chance drafting a Heisman Trophy winner…

  4. “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.”

    Kirk Cousins is 6′-3″ and still gets an appalling number of footballs batted down at the line of scrimmage.

  5. Kyle might make more money playing football, if he is drafted high in the first round (as first overall pick Baker received $32+ mill over four years), he establishes himself as the starting QB right away, establishes himself as an elite QB, and doesn’t sustain a drop in performance (or career ending injury), allowing himself to play for 15+ years. In that circumstance, he could be better paid and see Aaron Rodgers type money (19 seasons, $313 mill career earnings).

    Of course, if he established himself as a top flight outfielder, he could make in 10 seasons what it will take Aaron 19 seasons to make. Harper is about to sign a $300 mill+ contract.

    He could just as easily end up being the next Josh Johnson – $7 mill in 11 seasons. To put that in perspective, the average MLB player earns just over $4 mill a year (NFL average is $2 mill).

    It’s a no brainer. Baseball is where the money is. However, he’s talented enough to possibly do either well. He should chase his dream; not the money.

  6. Oh, to be that talented and those kinds of choices to make. He also would have made one hell of a soccer player, probably competing in Europe.

  7. The new football league should sign Murray the way the old AFL signed Joe Namath. Murray should also play baseball at the same time, and see if he can hit major league pitching. It will help get the new league off the ground, help the NFL see if he can step up in class, and help Murray see how good he can be in both sports. I don’t see why Murray has to make an immediate decision. He has multiple options. When John Elway came out of college, he had already played minor league ball with the Yankees, and the USFL was signing top players. Players like Herschel Walker, Steve Young, Jim Kelly, and Reggie White helped get the new league off the ground, and it didn’t end up hurting their NFL careers either.

  8. I love football way more than baseball but if you’re good enough to play in the pros for both games, I’d choose baseball over football. More money and a longer playing career with no worries of CTE = a no brainer.

  9. Allot of these comments are similar to the one’s about last year’s Heisman winner. Too small, didn’t play against SEC defenses..blah, blah. Also, a #1 qb pick in the NfL now has the potential to make $400,000 or more for a career, much more than a MLB outfielder.

  10. tbisgod says:
    December 27, 2018 at 12:56 pm
    Allot of these comments are similar to the one’s about last year’s Heisman winner. Too small, didn’t play against SEC defenses..blah, blah. Also, a #1 qb pick in the NfL now has the potential to make $400,000 or more for a career, much more than a MLB outfielder.
    ____________________________________
    Fair point but Mayfield is at least 6 foot tall and has a stout frame. Murray is closer to 5 foot 9 and is on the skinny side. I don’t see any NFL team taking him in the top 20 of the draft. Someone might trade into the end of the 1st round to grab him but he is Doug Flutie sized and Flutie was a good QB but wasn’t given a fair chance by the NFL for most of his career.

  11. Yeah, I would pass – he may end up like that other 5’11” QB, Brees, I think that’s his last name. A forgettable guy, if I remember. Definitely not worth it.

  12. Based on stature alone, not factoring in pro ball monies, lets all not write him off yet based on size. Looking at similar sized players of the position, he’s in the same category as

    Russell Wilson: 5’11” 206 lbs
    Drew Brees: 6’0″ 209 lbs
    Baker Mayfield: 6’1″209 lbs

    I do believe that with NFL sized OL and DLs, He will not be able to sit in the pocket and throw over the top of his linemen, like a Wentz, Brady, Newton could at 6’5″ frames, but he could still manage to get the ball out quick. The thing about this young talent is he dissects the defense fast and gets the ball to his receiver before the defense pressures him. I agree that Bama will pressure him more than he has seen in other matchups, which should help judge his pocket presence, but he makes plays with his legs as well. He escapes the rush and has an act for making plays outside the tackle box, just like a Watson, Rodgers or Mahomes does when the pocket collapses.

  13. caleburban9114 says:
    December 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm
    Based on stature alone, not factoring in pro ball monies, lets all not write him off yet based on size. Looking at similar sized players of the position, he’s in the same category as

    Russell Wilson: 5’11” 206 lbs
    Drew Brees: 6’0″ 209 lbs
    Baker Mayfield: 6’1″209 lbs
    _____________________________
    Don’t get me wrong. I believe that NFL scouts put way too much emphasis on height at the QB position. To almost a stupid degree. Look at Doug Flutie. He was a good NFL QB who spent most of his career playing in the CFL for no other reason than his height. It is ludicrous how much NFL scouts will not give a good QB a chance if he is under 6 foot 2 inches. But, that is the reality for most of the NFL to the benefit of smart teams like the Saints, Seahawks and Browns.

  14. I don’t think this kid is going to ever have to worry about money. He should do what he loves. If he loves both sports he can play both sports, even if he ends up playing in the new football league. If he’s an average QB he can retire with over $200 million in the bank. If he’s an average baseball player, same thing. If he only ends up making $10 million total, he’ll never have to work again. The one thing this kid probably doesn’t need is more advice from people like me. Lol.

  15. Doug Flutie was never given an opportunity to dominate the NFL. He dominated the CFL. We’ll never know what he could have done with a decent NFL coach. A lot of GM’s who make millions thought Aaron Donald was too small. There are exceptions to every rule. This kid is definitely not your normal kid. I’m not sure the baseball world can appreciate a kid like this. There’s a reason why they’re not the great American pastime anymore.

  16. The midget won’t make it in football. He’ll play double AA baseball at some far flung outpost never to be heard of again.

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