A bomb just dropped on major league baseball and it had nothing to do with Bryce Harper or Manny Machado choosing their future destinations.
After being selected 9th overall in last year’s MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics 9th Oklahoma dual-sport athlete, Kyler Murray announced on Monday that he will be “firmly and fully committing his life and time to becoming an NFL Quarterback.”
— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) February 11, 2019
The question remains, is Murray making the right decision?
In two years of playing baseball at Oklahoma, Murray was a .261 hitter, drove in a total of 53 RBI’s and stole 22 bases in 78 games. After only starting in 16 games in 2017, Murray started in 50 of 51 games last season, hitting .296, driving in 47 RBI’s and had a fielding percentage of .991.
On the football side of things, Murray has been exceptional. He had just over 1,100 rushing yards, threw for 4,300 and 42 touchdowns and led the Sooners to a 12-2 record, with their only regular season loss coming against Texas. He put up numbers at an alarming rate and that talent has showed ever since he stepped into the collegiate spotlight as a quarterback.
He spent a year backing up Baker Mayfield and before that Murray lit up the airways at Allen High School in Texas. He threw 100 career touchdowns between his junior and senior year, threw for over 8,300 yards and ran for 2,800 more.
He’s a once in a generation type athlete that has shown rare instincts on the football field, but I’m not sure if those rare instincts will translate to the NFL.
Everyone knows how weak defenses are in the Big 12 conference, then again he did throw for 308 yards and two touchdowns against Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semi-Final. He only stands at 5-foot-10, but some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, are around the same height.
If you put him in the right situation, I definitely believe there is a chance that he will succeed. He can keep teams guessing with his legs and he’s accurate enough to where he can take advantage of openings in the defense. His career probably won’t last as long in the NFL as it would in the MLB, but he also has the opportunity to make more money playing football.
Only time will tell how his career will pan out, maybe in two years we’ll see him back on the diamond throwing a baseball rather than a pig skin. But, just food for thought, no athlete has ever been drafted in the first round of two professional sport leagues.
Kyler Murray now has the opportunity to be the first.