Heisman winner Kyler Murray will soon have an important decision to make on his future in professional sports.
And he may find a way to play both.
ESPN NFL senior analyst Adam Schefter said Sunday during a SportsCenter appearance that he believes Oklahoma’s star quarterback will be a first-round NFL Draft selection in 2019, based on what he’s heard in NFL circles from sources.
“We know he’s committed to baseball, but we know he’s not going to be ignored in football,” Schefter said. “There was a general manager who told me yesterday (Saturday) that he believes Kyler Murray is a first-round pick in football, not just baseball. Now we’ll see how this unfolds this upcoming spring, but the (NFL) believes the success that he had and the skills that he showed … the success that Baker Mayfield has had in the NFL helps Kyler Murray.
“Now, is there going to be a team in the NFL that goes and uses a first-round draft pick on Kyler Murray? That’s hard to imagine just because he is committed to baseball, but do I think he’s going to be drafted? Absolutely in the NFL.”
Earlier this month, Murray left the door open to play both baseball and football at the next level, but those remarks were quickly shot down during the Heisman buzz this week by his agent, Scott Boras. Murray, an outfielder, signed a contract with the Oakland A’s earlier this year as a first-round pick in the MLB Amateur Draft.
Murray’s deal included a $4.66 million signing bonus.
“He certainly sounds open to the idea of playing football, “ Schefter said. “And this is going to be one of those storylines that unfolds as the draft gets underway. We’ve seen football teams take football standouts in the later rounds. Bo Jackson. Drew Henson. D.J. Dozier. The list goes on. It’ll be interesting to see which NFL teams decide where in the draft it’s worth the value that one GM describes is a late first-round pick and holding his rights for one year, which is what would happen.”
The comments from Boras this week came after Murray left the NFL option open in an interview with Tim Tebow on ESPN’s College GameDay. Murray’s NFL Draft status also became a topic this week when ESPN’s experts speculated about where he would rank.
“You’ve got Kyler Murray,” Mel Kiper Jr. said. “He’s listed 5-foot-10. Is he 5-foot-8? Is he 5-foot-9? If he was three inches taller, he’d be the No. 1 pick overall. You can’t waltz in off the baseball field as a quarterback like a cornerback or running back like in Deion (Sanders) and B0’s (Jackson) case, but I think he’s probably a second-round pick if the NFL was a possibility.”