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Kyler Murray pushes back at too small criticism

INDIANAPOLIS — You have Saquon Barkley in the backfield, Odell Beckham Jr. split wide, Sterling Shepard in the slot, Evan Engram lined up on the other side at tight end.

And behind center, at quarterback, diminutive and dynamic Kyler Murray.

“I think me in that system, with those guys, can be very dangerous,’’ Murray said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “At the same time, I don’t get to choose where I go. If that was the case, I would love to be in that situation. Love to be in New York. At the end of the day, I don’t pick myself.’’

No, Murray does not pick himself. General manager Dave Gettleman gets final say on whom the Giants select with the No. 6 pick in the draft. Given Eli Manning’s age (38) and recent performance level, it certainly could be a quarterback taken up that high. Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State fits the physical profile of what the Giants are looking for. For it to be Murray, the Giants will have to discard decades of data and evaluations and embrace new-age thinking that a quarterback standing 5-foot-10¹/₈ can make it big in the league.

“I’ve never been the biggest guy on the field, I’m always the smallest guy on the field,’’ Murray said. “I’ve said it multiple times: I feel I’m the most impactful guy on the field and the best player on the field at all time. That’s just the confidence I have in myself and my teammates have in me. I’ve always had to play at this height. Everybody’s trying to make it out to be something, but at the same time, I just go out there and play the game I love.’’

Much was made of measurement day on Thursday, when Murray edged past the 5-foot-10 barrier and weighted in at 207 pounds — 12 pounds heavier than his playing weight at Oklahoma last season. Getting that one-eighth of an inch, Murray said, “is not a big difference. I think we can put that to rest now. That’s fun.’’

He sounded bemused by the obsession with how tall and heavy he turned out to be.

“I showed up, they told me to put my hand down, they told me to stand here, step on the scale, and that’s what I did,’’ Murray said. “And everybody made a big deal about it.’’

Murray was a first-round pick of the Oakland A’s and guaranteed $4.6 million to play baseball. He said NFL teams have not pressed him too strenuously about his commitment to football, which he said is iron-clad, calling it “a final decision’’ and insisting, “There’s no turning back.’’

Murray was asked if he paused a bit about turning away from baseball after hearing Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies. The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback scoffed.

“How much money is that a year?’’ Murray asked.

Told Harper’s deal averaged roughly $25 million per year, Murray was not impressed.

“OK, everybody makes a big deal about it because it says $300 million dollars,’’ he said. “I mean, there’s quarterbacks making more money than him a year.’’

That all of Harper’s money is guaranteed seemed to be lost on Murray. His former Oklahoma teammate, Baker Mayfield, was the No. 1 pick in 2018, and his four-year contract totals $32.6 million, all guaranteed.

Will Murray go No. 1? Perhaps the Cardinals take him — their new head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, is a huge fan — and trade away Josh Rosen.

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

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