Heisman Trophy winner and Oakland Athletics first round pick Kyler Murray plans to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft as first reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Murray has already signed a $4.66 million deal with the Athletics after being selected with the 9th pick in 2018 MLB Draft on the basis that he would play one last year of football at Oklahoma then report to the A’s, but Murray seems set on entering a weak QB class after his phenomenal junior year.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 10, 2019
If Murray chooses to play football for whoever he’s drafted over reporting to the Athletics organization, Murray will be required to give his $4.66 million signing bonus back to the As and the As will still carry his rights in the event that Murray stops playing football and returns to baseball.
During his lone stellar season at Oklahoma, Murray posted the second-best season in Passer Efficiency in NCAA history, finishing slightly behind Tua Tagovailoa and ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft #1 pick Baker Mayfield, finished 3rd in the NCAA in passing yards (4361) and passing touchdowns (42), and tied for 1st in total touchdowns with 54.
Despite his size, Murray has proven to be able to make every throw asked of him with the aid of his prodigious arm and has the ability to burn defenses on the ground with his blazing speed. In a class universally regarded as one of the weakest in recent draft history, Murray has a chance to assert himself into the first round to be taken as a franchise quarterback with a strong pre-draft process and a renewed commitment to football.
Update: One week after the report from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle saying that the Athletics were expecting their first round pick and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, Murray has officially entered the draft.
I have declared for the NFL Draft.
— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 14, 2019
Despite declaring for the draft, the Athletics will continue attempting to get Murray to commit to baseball, aided by the MLB waiving their rule against offering draft picks major league deals after getting drafted. With permission to work around the rule, the Athletics can offer a major league deal, which will guarantee Murray a spot on their 40-man roster and more money in an attempt to keep Murray away from football. However, it looks as though Murray is set on trying to make it in the NFL as a franchise quarterback.