Kyler Murray leaves all doubts behind, sets sights on NFL career

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner left the Combine without performing any drills but left having answered the questions that have followed him his entire career.

INDIANAPOLIS–Over 100 credentialed members of the media gathered around Podium 1 of the Indianapolis Convention Center’s Hall K, some as early as 3:30 p.m on Friday, March 1.

As the running backs and offensive lineman completed their drills at Lucas Oil Stadium across the street, the entire world leaned in as the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray took the dais.

Murray looked up and smiled as he stepped in for his near 20-minute Q&A with reporters. The potential No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft fielded questions about his measurements, his decision between pro football and pro baseball and the role his father plays in his life.

These questions have been following Murray ever since he took the college football world by storm at Oklahoma and at the Combine he was ready to put them to rest.

At the end of his session, Murray wanted reporters to know several things: His size will not define him, football is his main passion, his father does not make his decisions and that he is ready to lead an NFL team into the future.

Murray's size became a hot topic because he does not look like a typical pro-style quarterback nor does he play like one. Rather, Murray represents the changing landscape in the NFL with the presence of more agile quarterbacks akin to the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes.

Still, many analysts were wary that Murray's 5'10" height would not translate on the professional stage. Yet, when officially measured on Thursday, Murray checked in normally in nearly every category.

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

His father, Kevin's, involvement in his life was also a topic of discussion at the Combine. Some believed that the elder Murray was the one making decisions for his son.

The future NFL draft pick wanted those same reporters to know that he was the one in charge.

"He's just a fan of his son and is proud of me," Murray said. "Just like any other dad."

The decision to pursue a career in football was his and his alone.

"I was born a football player, I love this game," Murray said. "There's no turning back when I made this decision, I'm 100 percent in."

Prior to his decision, there was talk about the MLB waiving a provision preventing minor league players from receiving major league contracts. A potential waiver would have provided Murray with money on par with some of the MLB's biggest stars.

However, money is not what is guiding Murray on his path to a career in professional sports. When asked about his thoughts regarding Bryce Harper's 13-year $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, Murray pointed that it was just a number.

Harper's annual average value of his contract is set around $25 million.

"There's quarterbacks making more money than him a year," Murray said.

Several quarterbacks including the Packers' Aaron Rodgers and Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan make more than $25 million annually.

The decision to forego the MLB in favor of the NFL was a hard process but ultimately has provided a sense of relief.

"I'd wake up and couldn't even go outside my room without hearing myself on the TV," Murray said. "It's been kind of a relief to just be able to work on football, get my body right and focus on football."

Murray, who did not participate in any workouts, said he was scheduled to meet with the Arizona Cardinals, who own the No. 1 overall pick.

Not only would Murray join the likes of Jared Goff and Andrew Luck as quarterbacks taken with the first pick, but he would also reunite with "former" USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

"[Kingsbury] recruited me out of high school," Murray said. "I have a great relationship with him. If I were to play under him, I think it'd be a great deal."

Still, while the writing is on the wall for the two to reunite, Murray is okay with not going first.

"I'm not going into it with any expectations of, 'if this guy gets taken before me. I'm going to be upset,'" Murray said. "At the end of the day, it's an opportunity to go play football."

While Murray is seen as the future of the NFL, he is still very much the kid that juggled playing two sports, a kid who saw limited action at Texas A&M and a competitor that has had to deal with questions surrounding his height his entire life.

"I've always had to play at this height," Murray said. "Everybody [is] trying to make it out to be something, but at the same time, I just go out there and play the game that I love."

After silencing his critics, Murray now looks towards a long future in the NFL.

"I think I bring a lot to the game as far as being mobile, being able to throw from the pocket and outside the pocket," Murray said. "You're going into a locker room full of grown men and you have to prove to them that you can lead them."