The Oklahoma Sooners hosted their annual Pro Day on Wednesday in front of one of the largest media crowds ever for an event of its kind, and its no surprise who the headliner of the day happened to be. The stage was set for Kyler Murray, the No. 9 overall pick from last summer’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, to show what he can do with the entire football world watching.
Coming into Oklahoma’s Pro Day, Murray was expected to go through an entire gambit of workouts, but the Heisman Trophy winner opted out of that. Also, he was not re-measured for height (5’10 1/8” at the combine), but he did weigh in again, checking in at 205, just two pounds lighter than his NFL Combine weight. After the day was done, Lincoln Riley spoke about the decision not to run.
Lincoln Riley on Kyler Murray opting not to run today: "He’s athletically so far beyond anything in this game, and that league either, at that position, there’s really honestly not any point."— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) March 13, 2019
What everybody primarily came to see was Murray throwing the ball, and he did not disappoint. Unofficially, Murray attempted over 60 passes in his workout, with only a few falling incomplete due to being dropped or overthrown. From start to finish, his effortless velocity and footwork were on full display.
Kyler Murray is on the field! Showing off a variety of pre-snap looks and throws to the scouts at the Everest Training Center.https://t.co/XhOdff0PQn | https://t.co/cADpqbTZlE pic.twitter.com/MMrH3bKrHV— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 13, 2019
One of the most important areas of playing quarterback is accuracy for obvious reasons. It takes great touch to place the ball in the right spot, but it also takes a certain feel for the teammates on the other end of those passes. Leading receivers in their routes and delivering quick, yet catchable balls can make all the difference. On Wednesday, Murray put on an absolute clinic in that respect.
A player of his size may cause scouts and GMs to wonder about the extent of his arm strength, but if it wasn’t already clear from his film, Murray showed what kind of mustard he could apply on deep posts and in play-action.
Those in attendance came away impressed with Kyler Murray’s showing. It would have been nice to see him run, but like Riley said, that’s not something that really needs to be proven at this point. His prowess as a passer is what’s most important to his overall future in the NFL and will ultimately dictate the amount of success he’s able to accrue between now and the end of his career.
Living legend Gil Brandt and NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks both lauded Murray for his performance.
As you would expect, Kyler Murray was impressively accurate during his throwing session. 61-of-67, with 1 drop. Completed everything under 10 yards. 1 incompletion to deep left, 1 deep middle, 3 deep right. Jim Zorn did great job preparing him. #OUProDay— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 13, 2019
.@TheKylerMurray Pro Day has been pretty impressive to watch. He has A+ arm talent and is an “easy” thrower. KM can make a wide range of throws to every area of the field.. Touch, timing, anticipation, drive throws and feathery tosses.. Plus, he’s a A+ athlete.. 5⭐️ player— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) March 13, 2019
One can only imagine what the folks over at the Arizona Cardinals HQ are thinking, especially after neither the owner, the GM, nor the head coach made the trip to Norman. Perhaps a big decision has already been made? It’s interesting, nevertheless.
As #Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray gets set for his Pro Day, #AZCardinals GM Steve Keim, coach Kliff Kingsbury and owner Michael Bidwill will... not be in attendance, per @JamesPalmerTV and me. Hmmm. Interpret that how you will.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2019
.@GuerinEmig with the question of the freaking day to Kyler Murray: "When was the last time you talked to Kliff Kingsbury?"— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) March 13, 2019
Murray, after some grinning and deliberation: "He texted me the other day." #Sooners #NFLDraft
Following the workout, Murray caught up with NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and Jeffri Chadiha to recap his pro day performance. He was also asked about the controversial Charley Casserly report that called into question his work ethic. He handled the entire ordeal as well as this interview with poise.
As expected, Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown did not participate in any of the workouts since he’s still recovering from foot surgery. For a comprehensive list of test numbers for every prospect at OU’s Pro Day, check out Sooner Sports.
O-Line Pro Day Numbers
Broad Jump: Bobby Evans (8’8”), Ben Powers (8’1”). Cody Ford and Dru Samia did not participate.
Vertical: Powers (29”), Evans (27.5”). Ford and Samia DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: Evans (4.73), Samia (4.75), Ford (4.84), Powers (4.87)
3-Cone: Evans (8.03), Samia (8.05). Ford and Powers DNP
Bench: Ford (20). Evans, Powers and Samia DNP
All four offensive linemen worked out at Oklahoma’s Pro Day, and in this drill with a tennis ball, the Sooners shined. Running counter plays as often as Lincoln Riley does had these guys ready.
"Guys, we got a tennis ball involved."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 13, 2019
The offensive line is showing off their feet and agility as workouts continue at the Everest Training Center. https://t.co/XhOdff0PQn | https://t.co/cADpqbTZlE pic.twitter.com/SEZYJMrGpE
LB Curtis Bolton had himself quite an impressive pro day. Because he’s quite undersized compared to the average linebacker in the NFL, his chances of hearing his named called during the upcoming draft are slim. Still, the numbers he posted today should at least give GMs and coaches more to think about when evaluating him, and perhaps he’ll get a look as a free agent.
By the numbers, Bolton recorded a 9’11” broad jump, 38” vertical, 4.53 40-yard dash, 4.36 20-yard shuttle, 7.18 3-cone drill, 11.55 60-yard shuttle and 17 on bench. Compared to those at his position at the 2019 NFL Combine, Bolton’s 60-yard shuttle would have ranked third, his vertical fifth, and his 40 seventh.
DE Amani Bledsoe also had himself a solid showing and might’ve earned himself some attention with his pro day performance. At 6’5” and 287 pounds, the Kansan turned in a 4.91 40-time, which for his size is a strong number. He also tossed up 225 pounds on the bench press 25 times, which speaks to his punch power and upper body strength that’s readily apparent on film. Finally, he had a 31-inch vertical, which was impressive at his weight.
Also, he did this:
Kicker Austin Seibert is quietly having one of the better pre-draft experiences of any Sooner. After performing double duty as a kicker and a punter for four seasons, Seibert is now focused on placekicking. He was named the top performing special teams player at the Senior Bowl, was the most accurate kicker during the NFL Combine, and at OU’s Pro Day he not only continued to show accuracy and range on field goals, he busted the guts out the ball on kickoffs.
In all, this year’s Pro Day was another opportunity for Sooners to showcase their abilities as they pursue a professional career playing football. It was also great for the brand of the program. Exposure like this only helps to pave those inroads on the recruiting trail. As for the athletes looking to make the leap to the highest level, private workouts and interviews are still on the way before next month’s draft.
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