Top quarterback prospect Kyler Murray opened many eyes at the NFL Combine on Wednesday after his measurables came in. The biggest one was his height that came in at 5-foot-10, with 207 pounds reading on the scale. He weighed more than Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who he is being compared to his draft season, and was just one half-inch shorter when Wilson came through the Combine.
So that should settle any teams worry about Murray, right? Wrong.
Murray has proved he can perform at the highest level on the field, even with his height serving as a “disadvantage,” but what about his leadership qualities and personality off the field? That is just as important for NFL teams during this evaluation process, and former NFL executive Scot McCloughan sees that as a potential issue for Murray.
McCloughan used to be the GM for the 49ers and Redskins, but now runs his own scouting service that has helped multiple NFL teams during this time of the year. Last year, McCloughan was working alongside Browns GM John Dorsey, and advised to draft QB Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield and Murray have two separate personalites, and Mayfield’s the one you want in the locker room in his eyes.
“I saw his interviews during the Super Bowl and they were awful,” McCloughan told The MMQB. “Awful. And to be a legit NFL quarterback you’ve got to have leadership qualities, like Baker. I know we drafted him in Cleveland so I’m probably a little biased, but he controls the room. He walks in and it’s like, whoa. Watching Kyler do an interview it’s like, ‘C’mon, guy, what do you got? Give me something.’ “
Murray’s worst interview during his Super Bowl media tour came on the Dan Patrick Show, where he looked very unprepared when Patrick came at him with the football vs. baseball questions.
And if the Giants are considering Murray, they certainly know they reside in the biggest media market in the country. If he can’t handle those pressure-cooker questions, as the team’s quarterback and hopeful heir apparent to Eli Manning no less, that would be a major problem.
But, at the end of the day, McCloughan believes Murray is the best quarterback in this draft class when it comes to what he can do on the field. He knows he can help some teams immediately, but he believes teams should be testing him during the critical interview process this week.
“I’d sit him down one-on-one, bring him in the building and throw stuff at him he’s not ready for, to see how he responds,” McCloughan said. “I’d get face-to-face with him so I could say, ‘Listen, if I’m planning on investing a first round pick in you, you need to look me in the eye and tell me you’re football through-and-through, no matter what. I gotta know that. Because you can go play baseball — that’s your choice — but what you choose to do affects my career, it affects my coaches’ careers and their families. I gotta understand that you have the passion and the want-to. And the players need to know it.”