Thinner framed; underweight for typical quarterbacks
Could have durability issues in the NFL
Too short to execute three-step-drop passing in the NFL
Not wildly inaccurate, but misses some throws
Recall is average
Arrogant; personality could turn off some
Questions on his leadership skills
Summary: Kyler Murray was a late addition to the annual NFL Draft party. When area scouts were going through Norman in the fall, most of them did not write up reports on Murray because the Oklahoma coaches told the scouts that Murray was going to play pro baseball. Last year, Murray was a top-10 pick of the Oakland A's, and Murray received a signing bonus of over $1.5 million. He then has since had to pay that money back to Oakland.
As one might expect, Murray and Oklahoma dominated the Big XII, leading to Murray winning the Heisman Trophy. In his one season as a starting quarterback for Oklahoma, Murray completed 69 percent of his passes for 4,361 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. After losing to Alabama in the college football playoff, Murray decided to declare for the NFL Draft, leaving the league scrambling to study up on him. Teams have found that Murray is a unique player and definitely is a challenging prospect to scout given his physical skill set.
I've spoken with a couple of general managers and some area scouts about Murray, and they have graded Murray in the second round. That being said, plenty of quarterbacks graded for Day 2 get selected in Round 1, including Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, and generally teams think Murray will probably be the first player selected.
All of the sources were in agreement that an offense would have to be changed and built around Murray. Every team source said that he will have to play out of the shotgun because he is too short to be under center and do quick passing off of three-step drops. Thus, the offense is going to have to be built around Murray and he is not a quarterback who can be plugged into any NFL offense. That also presents some problems for his pro team in finding a backup quarterback who can execute the same plays. Therefore, it is going to take a team that is willing to commit to Murray fully and go all-in on building the entire offense around him.
"[Murray] should be playing pro sports on this field," said one GM of a quarterback-needy team at Tropicana Field during the East-West Shrine practices. "You're going to have to change a huge amount of your offense for him. He's too short, so you can't put him under center and do a three-step drop. He's too short to see through 6-foot-5 offensive linemen and defenders getting their hands up. Those west coast offense plays are out the window with him. You have to build the system for him, and he is not a plug-and-play in a pro system like an Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston, [Matthew] Stafford, etc. You also are going to be presented with problems for the backup quarterback because Murray is so unique and you won't be able to find a backup that can duplicate what he does. If Murray gets hurt, you may to do a huge overhaul to the offense in order to suit the backup. He has a good arm and he's athletic, but you have to really commit to him and build everything around him if you're going to take him."
On top of the height, teams are concerned about Murray being thinner framed and are worried about him holding up from the hits of NFL-sized defenders.
Aside from the size issues, Murray is a talented player. He has a good arm that can make all the throws in the NFL, and at times he can make some unbelievable passes. He has above average accuracy and is able to throw guys open with his ball placement. There are times when he has some surprising misses of some throw, and he missed a lot more than Baker Mayfield did running the Oklahoma offense. Murray can get a little loosey-goosey at times, but for a college quarterback entering the NFL, his accuracy would best be described as above average, although not good.
Murray is an excellent athlete who can make big plays with his feet. With some backyard style of play, Murray does have some similarities to Pat Mahomes in making something out of nothing. Murray is not a traditional NFL starting quarterback, but the game has been trending to smaller quarterbacks having more success, so Murray succeeding where others have failed can't be ruled out.
At the NFL Combine, Murray's stock seemed to go through the roof. He is now the favorite to be the No. 1-overall pick.
Player Comparison: Russell Wilson. Wilson is the most similar player to Murray who has played in the NFL in recent years. However, I do not think that Murray will end up being as good as Wilson has been for Seattle. Murray is shorter, and Wilson is more built to withstand the NFL punishment. They do have a similar style of play with an arm and mobility, and are gritty competitors.
NFL Matches: Arizona, Oakland, New York Giants, Denver, Cincinnati, Miami, Washington, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles Chargers, New England
The consensus around the league is that Arizona will take Kyler Murray and look to trade Josh Rosen, but perhaps the organization could shock everyone and take a different player over Murray or trade down with a team that wants Murray. Still, the consensus is that Murray will be the Cardinals' first-round pick.
Sources with Oakland said they like Murray, so he could be in play for the Raiders.
The New York Giants are desperate for a franchise quarterback. They have an aging and declining Eli Manning, but passed on a potential franchise quarterback last year. They can't continue doing that, but perhaps they decide to pass on quarterback again this year.
Even though Denver traded for Joe Flacco, the Broncos are still considering taking a quarterback in the first round. Cincinnati could decide to move on from Andy Dalton with its new head coach. Miami already did move on from Ryan Tannehill, and clearly Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a long-term starter. Thus, Murray could go in the early teens to the Bengals or the Dolphins at pick No. 11 or No. 13 respectively.
The Redskins could consider taking a quarterback in the first round as Case Keenum is just a veteran stopgap and Alex Smith may never play again. Even if Smith comes back, he is aging and limited, so Washington could select a quarterback on the opening night of the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Steelers, Chargers and Patriots are all teams that could consider a quarterback as their aging signal-callers have a limited number of years left.