So the kid made a decision…Kyler knows football. After a season to remember, weeks of speculation, and a botched Dan Patrick interview. Kyler Murray has decided that he’s “fully committed” to becoming a NFL quarterback. His decision seemingly brings to an end weeks of speculation about the Heisman Trophy winner’s decision to play baseball or football. With his decision he chooses the notoriety and allure of being QB1 over those long bus rides in Rookie Ball. Kyler Murray wants to play QB at the NFL level. Can you blame him? Look everyone knows the “smart” thing that Kyler should do, take his near $5 million bonus from the Oakland A’s who drafted him 9th overall last June. The “smart” thing to do would be to take the guaranteed money, keep his long term health and potentially have a long baseball career with his brain cells in tact. Those would be the “smart” things to do. Clearly, (finally) those are not the things that Kyler Murray wants to do and, and yes it is a gamble. A gamble though that is a very calculated one when you go beyond the surface.
Football is an inherently violent game yes, but today’s NFL protects the QB much more than it ever has in league history. Breathing on a QB gets you a fifteen yard penalty these days in the NFL. With pass happy offenses and rules that are advantageous to the QB. Kyler’s decision to play football may not be so bad after all. Kyler is hyper athletic, with a rocket for an arm and escapability that looks like something out of a video game. His talent as QB is undeniable and teams would be crazy not to take a serious look at him as a potential first round pick (according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapport teams see Murray as a 2nd or 3rd round pick currently). No matter how polarizing of a prospect Murray is and will be throughout the draft process someone is going to take a chance on him. Yes, there will be questions about his true height, his ability to see past his offensive line, hand size, etc. Questions will be about his mindset (his statement withstanding) and if he is truly committed to the game of football which will demand his full attention.
For Murray, it appears his decision is based on what he loves to do and the allure that comes with playing quarterback and guess what? That’s ok. Is it the decision that you or I would make? Maybe not. Is it a decision that will be questioned until the end of his athletic career? Sure it will. For Murray this decision appears based on what he loves to do and that’s throwing the pigskin around instead of the prospect of hitting .200 in the minors and washing out as a Major League prospect. By returning $1.29 of the $1.5 million signing bonus he received last year from the A’s and forfeiting the rest, Murray’s isn’t worried about the millions he lost, but the notoriety, fame, and come up that he WILL get as a NFL QB.
Murray is not Bo Jackson, Brian Jordan or Deion Sanders. His position as a QB a common one yes, his accomplishments though in one year at Oklahoma, extraordinary. Is his decision curious? Yes. More than anything though it appears a wisely calculated one (at least in his perspective). His father is a former athlete in his own right, and Murray himself a former multi-time State Champion in Texas HS football and a kid who is used to being in the spotlight. Kyler Murray is not afraid of the big stage or the moment that comes with it. The more you think about it his decision is more in line with what he’s always been, a star. There is no position with a bigger, brighter stage under the lights than QB1 in the NFL. Murray as he said was “raised to play QB”. Well rumble, young man rumble. Are you feeling lucky Kyler?