When Baker Mayfield was drafted first overall last April, nobody expected his successor would have a chance to repeat the feat. Enter Kyler Murray. After a historic Heisman Trophy winning campaign in his lone season as the starter for the Oklahoma Sooners, becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is firmly within the realm of possibility.
Kyler Murray’s Story
Years before he donned the Crimson & Cream in Norman, Kyler Murray was no stranger to success. As the starting QB at Allen High School, he led his teams to three straight 6A DI Texas state titles, including a pristine 43-0 career record. His prowess and ability on both the football and baseball fields earned him National Gatorade Athlete of the Year.
Coming out of Allen in 2015, the five-star recruit signed with Texas A&M, where his father, Kevin Murray, played quarterback from 1983-86. Murray played sparingly for the Aggies, going 2-1 as a starter in College Station before deciding to transfer to Oklahoma at the end of the season.
Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, Oklahoma 2017 pic.twitter.com/kz6RDPJ9ch— College Teammates (@NCAATeammates) December 8, 2018
Per transfer rules, Murray sat out the 2016 season, then backed up Baker Mayfield (who had a year of eligibility restored after his own transfer) in 2017. After those two years on campus, Murray was finally in line to become the Sooners’ starting quarterback.
During the spring of ‘17 and ‘18, Murray also played for the OU baseball team as an outfielder. His electric speed on the bases was apparent to anyone who saw, and in his final season he showed tremendous promise at the plate as well. Last June, Oakland selected the dual-sport athlete with the ninth overall pick in the MLB Draft. Fortunately for the NFL, the Athletics gave Murray the green light to play college football in the fall.
From September to December, Kyler Murray took the college football world by storm. On a weekly basis, he lit up highlight reels across the nation with dazzling runs and game-breaking throws. He became the second player in FBS history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. In 2018, he totaled 4,361 yards through the air, 42 touchdowns and seven INTs on 260-377 (69%) passing while adding 1,001 rushing yards and 12 more scores on 140 carries.
En route to winning the Big 12 Championship, Murray also won the Heisman Trophy and Davey O’Brien Award in addition to securing AP Player of the Year and a First-Team All-America (AP, FWAA) honors.
In February, Murray announced that he was committing to playing football full-time. With his prospects as a QB in the NFL so promising, the decision to walk away from baseball — although tough on his heart — appears to have been the right one.
NFL Combine/Pro Day Results
Checking in at 5’10” and 207 pounds, Kyler Murray chose not to run at the NFL Combine nor his pro day. However, he did throw during his pro day, and his performance impressed the over 100 scouts and media members in attendance.
As far as NFL player comparisons are concerned, Russell Wilson has been mentioned, as well as Michael Vick (Todd McShay) and Steve Young (CBS Sports). Personally, I believe that in time, Murray will show how he’s a one-of-kind player that hasn’t been seen before and may never be seen again. His speed is about as good as it gets, regardless of position, and he’s an exceptional passer both from the pocket and on the move.
These days, you won’t find many mock drafts without Kyler Murray’s name at the very top. Now whether that’s with the Arizona Cardinals (who currently hold the pick), or somebody else via trade, the general consensus going into draft night is that OU will see its second QB in as many years selected with the first overall pick.
The following mock drafts have Murray going No. 1 overall: CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson, Chris Trapasso, Tom Fornelli and Sean Wagner-McGough, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar, Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo, NFL.com’s Charles Davis, Chad Reuter and Daniel Jeremiah, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay.
Kyler Murray Highlights
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