- Brett Deering/Getty Images
- Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is expected to enter the 2019 NFL Draft, according to a report.
- Murray, a two-sport athlete, was drafted by the Oakland A’s and signed a contract, but now appears to be leaning toward football.
- If Murray enters the draft, it presents an interesting scenario for the Arizona Cardinals, whose new coach Kliff Kingsbury had previously said he would take Murray with the top draft pick. The Cardinals own the No. 1 pick.
Former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is now expected to enter his name in the 2019 NFL Draft, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Murray was taken ninth overall in the MLB draft by the Oakland A’s and agreed to a $4.6 million deal. According to Slusser, Murray entering the NFL Draft doesn’t guarantee that he will leave the A’s, but it “increases the chances” that he’ll choose football over baseball.
Murray may have to make a decision by February 15, when position players report to A’s training camp. The NFL combine is the next week, meaning Murray may have to lean one way or the other toward the sport he intends to play.
If Murray chooses football, it may make for an interesting scenario for the Arizona Cardinals and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
The Cardinals have the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. In October, when Kingsbury was still head coach of Texas Tech, he said he would take Murray if he had the No. 1 pick.
Kliff Kingsbury back on October 28, 2018:
"Kyler is a freak…..I would take him with the first pick of the draft if I could."
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 10, 2019
The Cardinals took Josh Rosen with the 10th pick in the draft last year. He started 13 games and largely struggled, completing 55% of his passes for 2,2278 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
Upon getting hired, Kingsbury raved about Rosen, calling him one of the most talented throwers in the NFL.
But it doesn’t sound like Rosen’s presence would preclude the Cardinals from taking Murray. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on “Get Up!” on Thursday that the Cardinals could even look to trade Rosen to make room for Murray.
Even if they kept Rosen, having two young quarterbacks on their rookie deals might not be such a bad scenario. They could compete for the starting job, with one serving as injury insurance, and one could eventually become a trade asset down the line.
Murray’s decision may be business-focused. If he was drafted with the 32nd pick, he’d make about $8 million guaranteed.
According to Slusser, the A’s would retain Murray’s MLB rights, even if he went to the NFL. While Murray’s decision is yet to become official, and a lot can happen between now and May, it looks like the star quarterback is leaning toward football.