March 12, 2019 / 5:49 PM / 5 months ago

QB Murray takes pro day stage; Cardinals, others set to attend

Kyler Murray will perform quarterback drills and other testing at his much-anticipated pro day workout in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Mar 2, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (QB11) who did not participate in workout drills watches from the sidelines during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports - 12268222

Among the teams expected to send a large contingent of coaches and personnel evaluators are the Arizona Cardinals.

Arizona owns the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft and speculation simmered during the NFL Scouting Combine that the Cardinals are primed to draft Murray and deal their 2018 first-round pick, Josh Rosen, for additional draft picks or a veteran.

Murray did not throw or take part in measurement tests at the combine, including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump, but his height became headline news. Murray was rumored to be shorter than 5-foot-10. He measured 5-10 and 1/8.

While he erased worries about height and weight — Murray was 207 in Indianapolis — evaluators will want to gauge Murray’s ability to pass while dropping back from center and how he throws NFL-type routes.

All told, Murray proved he could pass in claiming the 2018 Heisman Trophy.

Only four of his passes were batted down — according to Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, citing the program’s film review — and Murray was one of the top three passers on throws from the pocket last season, per Pro Football Focus analysis.

The Cardinals had little skill talent around Rosen last season and the offensive line was a worry most of the year.

First-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who coached at Texas Tech last season, said of his then-conference rival in October that Murray was worthy of the No. 1 overall pick. Kingsbury since attempted to backpedal from those comments, given the new reality-based context.

Murray said he would covet the opportunity to follow Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield as the first players from the same program to win the Heisman Trophy, then go first overall in the draft.

“To be the No. 1 pick, that’s a kid’s dream come true,” Murray said. “If my name was called No. 1, I’d be ready to go for sure.”

Beyond the Cardinals, the Oakland Raiders (fourth overall), New York Giants (sixth), Cincinnati Bengals (11th) and Miami Dolphins (13th) could covet Murray. The Denver Broncos are a longer shot to look at Murray with the 10th pick after trading for Joe Flacco.

Oklahoma’s pro day is typically widely attended. Dozens of high-level NFL types, including Broncos vice president John Elway and then-Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, turned out for the event last spring.

Kingsbury’s infatuation with Murray is rooted in Texas football tradition. Murray went 43-0 as a starter in high school (Allen), was the 2014 Gatorade National Player of the Year and was recruited by Kingsbury before choosing to sign with Texas A&M.

But Murray ultimately transferred and wound up following Mayfield at OU. With the Sooners, he went 12-2 as a starter and led the team into the College Football Playoff. He’s a prize in the NFL draft only after spurning the Oakland Athletics, who drafted Murray in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft.

The familiarity between coach and NFL prospect is a two-way street.

“I know what type of offense he runs,” Murray said of Kingsbury.

“Obviously he recruited me out of high school; I have a great relationship with him. If I were to play under him, I think it’d be a great deal. But again, like I said, I don’t get to pick the players. All I can do is show up where I’m supposed to be, work hard and get after it.”

—Field Level Media

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