Kyler Murray wavered on deciding whether to pursue a career playing professional baseball or professional football, but it appears his choice to play in the National Football League is wise.
Murray’s stock has shot up considerably within the past month, with the Arizona Cardinals now expected to select the quarterback No. 1 overall in next month’s NFL Draft (April 25-27), according to multiple reports.
Murray’s ascent up the draft board is reflected on FanDuel where he is now +125 to be the first pick after having odds as high as +2000 on betting sites just more than a month ago.
Though Murray did not workout at the NFL scouting combine, which concluded Monday, he answered several lingering concerns teams had about the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner's size.
The former Oklahoma star was measured at 5 feet 10-1/8, 207 pounds, both taller and bulkier than initially thought. He's roughly the same size as Seattle Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson. Murray will work out for NFL teams on March 13.
There are already reports that Arizona is shopping incumbent starting quarterback Josh Rosen, whom Arizona drafted No. 10 overall a year ago. According to multiple reports, Arizona is seeking to trade Rosen for a third-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Rosen was regarded as Arizona’s tarting quarterback of the future. But the signalcaller out of UCLA had a rather unexceptional rookie season; the Cardinals finished 3-13 then fired head coach Steve Wilks and hired Kliff Kingsbury.
Kingsbury is a big supporter of Murray’s, having coached against him when both were in the Big 12 conference -- Kingsbury as Texas Tech’s head coach, Murray as starting quarterback for the Sooners. Kingsbury even said publicly last fall he would select Murray No. 1 overall pick if he had the option, which Arizona's new coach now can do.
Murray fits schematically with the Air Raid offense Kingsbury is installing with the Cardinals, as it is similar to the offense at Oklahoma. In his lone season as the Sooners’ starting quarterback, Murray passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns and rushed for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Last June, he was also selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the MLB draft.
While increasingly doubtful Arizona will pass on Murray, he is not expected to slide far down the draft board if the Cardinals go in a different direction.
Neither the San Francisco 49ers, who draft second overall, now the No. 3 New York Jets need a quarterback. But either could trade their pick to a quarterback-hungry team. FanDuel lists the Miami Dolphins (+400) as having the next-best odds to land Murray.
Such a scenario would likely require the Dolphins to put together a trade package to move up from their 13th overall slot.
If no trades occur and the Cardinals, 49ers and Jets each pass on Murray, his likeliest landing spot is the Oakland Raiders, fourth in the draft order. The Raiders are +500 to select Murray, with head coach Jon Gruden an admirer of the quarterback.
NBC Sports reported that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden “loves” Murray and that they are a team that “bears watching.”