After much speculation, reigning Heisman Trophy winner and Oklahoma product Kyler Murray announced on Monday that he will commit full time to be an NFL quarterback.
— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) February 11, 2019
Prior to his standout season at Oklahoma, Murray was selected in the first round by the Oakland Athletics where baseball was originally believed to be his first choice despite making it known he would play one season with the Sooners.
What followed was a magical 2018 season in which he led Oklahoma to a 12-2 record and a national semifinal appearance against Alabama. He threw for 4,360 yards with 42 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions while rushing for an additional 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The monster season saw Murray shoot up draft boards even though if it was unclear whether or not he would declare for the draft. He did just that in January despite the Athletics doing everything in their power to ensure he would stay in baseball.
His decision, further reinforced by his statements on Monday, means he will return $1.29 million of his $1.5 million signing bonus with the A’s and forfeit the remaining $3.16 million that was due to him on Mar. 1, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Now with his sights firmly on the NFL, Murray provides teams that are in need of a quarterback with another potential star option.
Among those teams are the New York Giants with the No. 6 pick, who look as though they won’t spend big on the free-agent market to find an immediate replacement for veteran Eli Manning, which likely takes them out of the running for Nick Foles.
Instead, it looks as though general manager Dave Gettleman will bring Manning back for the final year of his contract and draft his future replacement. That way the pick will have as much as a year to spend under the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s wing to acclimate to the NFL.
As it stands, the general consensus is that the Giants will be able to nab Dwayne Haskins with the sixth pick. The Ohio State product is widely regarded as the top passer in the draft and has made it known that he wishes to play for the Giants.
Luckily for the Giants, the teams choosing ahead of them don’t have quarterbacks as a top area of need, which means Haskins could very well fall to them. But if a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars or Miami Dolphins pull off a trade to move up the draft board, the Giants could be faced with finding a consolation prize.
Murray can be just that as he is projected to be taken in the first round, though that could change depending on his performance at the NFL Combine. He would provide the Giants with a scrambling quarterback, something the franchise hasn’t really featured since the days of Fran Tarkenton. But that athleticism would be important for an offense that has needed a quarterback that was able to extend the play with his legs in order to find big outside targets like Odell Beckham Jr.
Along with Duke’s Daniel Jones and Missouri’s Drew Lock, you can expect the Giants to take a vested interest in Murray over the next few months.