Would-be quarterback Kyler Murray is sending the kind of mixed signals that will cause scouts to take nothing he says at face value.
A week after declaring that “I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft,” Murray said he’s unsure about whether he’ll throw at the Scouting Combine. And while I always support the decision of any player to not participate in one or more of the events of the Underwear Olympics (especially since so many think that the kids have a duty not to look out for their own best interests but to entertain us), it’s hard to reconcile the sweeping proclamations from his “full commitment to football” statement with his sudden skittishness about throwing in Indianapolis.
The incongruity highlights the challenge he’ll face when trying to persuade scouts that he really is committed to football, and that he’s not simply rolling the dice to see whether he’ll be drafted high enough and/or by the right team, with baseball still in his back pocket as protection against a situation he doesn’t like. And Murray may indeed be able to explain himself effectively at the appropriate time.
But it won’t be easy, because no team will want to risk blowing a draft pick on Murray — which means that every team will be testing him on whether he means what he says or whether he’s saying what he thinks teams want to hear.