Quarterback is a position of concern at many of the top programs in the country this season. In Alabama, we have Jalen Hurts vs. Tua Tagovailoa. Ohio State pits Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow in competition. Oklahoma thinks it has its starter, but Kyler Murray MLB Draft prospects could give him a huge decision to make.
Murray is a former five-star quarterback in the class of 2016. He was originally signed by Texas A&M to be the heir apparent to Johnny Manziel.
He is also an elite baseball prospect. In fact, there is a decent chance that he has more potential at the next level on the diamond than the gridiron.
After a tumultuous first season at A&M, Murray transferred to Oklahoma. Instead of taking over for Manziel, he now projects to do so for Baker Mayfield. He is also the clean-up hitter for the Sooners baseball team.
ESPN basketball expert Keith Law has his Kyler Murray MLB Draft projection in as a fringe first round pick.
Right now, Law has Murray slotted in at No. 36 in his list of top draft prospects. He updated his list a few days ago.
Here's what Law has to say about the Sooners two-sport star. From The Oklahoman:
"Murray is slated to start at quarterback this fall for the Sooners, but if he's finally ready to play baseball full time, his plus-plus speed and contact-oriented swing would make him a first-round pick — especially since he's played fairly well since moving into the Sooners' lineup in the third weekend of the spring," Law wrote.
The MLB Draft is set to run from June 4-6. If Murray is as early a pick as Law thinks he can be, it could present him the opportunity to sign a deal with a bonus in excess of $1 million.
Of course, that would end his football career at Oklahoma. Lincoln Riley recently addressed the possibility.
"We've had some discussions on that," Riley said after Saturday's spring game about the possibility of Murray being drafted. "We're open and honest with each other about that and I'm comfortable about where we're at with it."
Murray is batting .279 for the Sooners, and is second on the team with five home runs and among the team leaders in stolen bases. He has an on-base percentage of .384, and is slugging .484 on the season.
SB Nation's Ian Boyd went into detail on what this Kyler Murray MLB Draft projection potentially means for the quarterback, and OU.
A pick anywhere near No. 36 would likely come with a seven-figure signing bonus, based on 2017 figures.
If he’s drafted, would he take a million dollars over another year of amateurism? There’s not much question about which sport offers a better future for Murray. Not only would baseball likely pay him more (and sooner) than the NFL can, but at 5’10 (maybe), the chances of Murray finding an NFL career are dimmer. So one hope in Norman is that he’ll provide a bridge between Mayfield and the next QB before cashing in on baseball.
Murray opted out of the 2015 MLB Draft, back when he was a vaunted high school prospect. Oklahoma fans have to be hoping he makes a similar pro-football decision this time.