Anthony Paoli, Staff Writer
The Oakland Athletics allowed Kyler Murray to delay his baseball career to play quarterback for Oklahoma this past season, and all signs indicated this would be his last season. The A’s selected him with the ninth overall pick in the summer, giving him a $4.66 million signing bonus to help persuade Murray to continue his baseball career.
It seemed to be a no brainer that Murray would stick to baseball. To begin his last season at Oklahoma, it was unclear if Murray would even be the starter. However, after winning the job, Murray had a breakout season.
Murray threw for over 4,000 yards and showed his athleticism by rushing for over 1,000 yards as well. He totaled 54 touchdowns including 42 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns. His incredible season made NFL scouts turn their heads as the previously overlooked and undersized quarterback showed everyone what he is capable of. Murray’s incredible efforts earned him the Heisman Trophy.
Murray officially declared for the NFL Draft, indicating that he wants to pursue his option as a professional football player. So what will Murray’s NFL career look like in the next couple months? Well despite his untraditional body size for a quarterback, at just 5’10” and 195 lbs, many NFL draft evaluators now believe Murray has potential to go in the early first round of the draft.
While it’s likely we see some of the more conventional quarterbacks get picked ahead of Murray, many mock drafts have Murray going somewhere inside the top 15 picks. An early round team that could target Murray is the Jacksonville Jaguars who have the 7th pick in the draft. After their quarterback Blake Bortles had a horrific season and eventually got benched towards the back half of the season, Jacksonville is almost certainly in the market for a quarterback.
Two more likely scenarios for Murray would be the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick or the Washington Redskins with the 15th pick. The Dolphins have decisions to make regarding their current quarterback Ryan Tanehill and whether or not he will be the guy moving forward. The Redskins had their starting quarterback Alex Smith and backup quarterback Colt McCoy both endured season ending injuries, both with gruesome leg injuries during a game. With both quarterbacks dealing with injuries, the Redskins could be looking to find themselves a new quarterback in this year’s draft.