Kyler Murray – How to Approach the Heisman Winner? (by Phil Goyette)
Heading into the 2018 draft, Kyler Murray was a highly rated, albeit raw, draft prospect. This is because he spent most of his time in college preparing to become an elite QB. He transferred from Texas A&M to Oklahoma where he waited for his opportunity to start after Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield left for the NFL. Also, he starred for the Oklahoma baseball team, posting a .296/.398/.556 slash line in the spring of 2018. Billy Beane took a shot on him with the 9th overall pick in the draft, throwing $5 million at him and telling him it was fine if he played football for the Sooners in the fall.
During the draft, many people said, jokingly, “man wouldn’t it funny if Kyler won the Heisman too?” Then, he put together an incredible season and did just that. He threw for 4,300 yards, ran for 1,000 more, and accounted for 54 total touchdowns. Mental. Given the opportunity to commit his future to baseball in the press conferences leading up to the college football playoffs, Murray was understandably non-committal. It’s all but certain that an NFL team is going to call his name in the draft come April.
So what do you do with this guy? When I started my ranking process this summer, before he officially won the starting QB job at Oklahoma, I had him in the Top-5 range. He’s slowly slid down the rankings ever since. However, don’t read these (or any other) rankings as gospel. Think about how you would like to construct your team. If your first pick is a “high floor” guy (say Nick Madrigal), it might make a ton of sense to take a risk on your second pick. And Kyler Murray with his 30/30 upside might be sitting there waiting for you to pick him.