Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray just made the upcoming NFL draft much more interesting.
Murray, all 5-foot-9 of him, announced his intentions to give up baseball for the time being to concentrate on being an NFL quarterback. Murray was a first round selection of the Oakland A’s last summer. He has already returned his multi-million dollar bonus to the A’s.
One would think Murray feels he will be drafted early in the April draft. The success of his former teammate, Baker Mayfield, had to play a big part in the decision. Mayfield is also a short-statured quarterback, and he is coming off a successful rookie season for the Cleveland Browns after winning the Heisman at Oklahoma.
Prior to Murray’s announcement, scouts and GMs had Murray’s name ranked anywhere from top ten to second round. But a lot can change between now and April.
I think he will go in the first round. And here are some places I could see him making it work. Drew Brees made it. Russell Wilson makes it work. Mayfield is doing it.
The Miami Dolphins need to break away from Ryan Tannehill. And the city of Miami needs a star.
Jacksonville will break away from Blake Bortles. But they likely would prefer a veteran to go along with its veteran defense.
Denver could use a quarterback, but I am not sure John Elway is all in on short quarterbacks.
My top choice is Oakland. Would be ironic that Murray turns back on the A’s and ends up with the Raiders. Jon Gruden has made it known that he would like to groom his own quarterback. This would enable him to trade Derick Carr, and there are teams who would love to have Carr.
I would not rule out the Washington Redskins. They lost Alex Smith to injury and could use a dose of excitement.
Most feel he will end up with the Arizona Cardinals. But the Cardinals have the first pick in the draft and is he worthy of that honor? And they just took a quarterback, Josh Rosen, in the first round of last year’s draft.
Tanking For Zion
Zion Williamson of Duke is the talk of the NBA these days. Now that Anthony Davis was not traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Williamson will be the first pick in the NBA draft this summer, and the race to improve your chances in the NBA lottery is on. The race to see who will lose the most games.
The New York Knicks have lost 16 straight. The Phoenix Suns have lost 14 consecutive games. The Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls are not much better. Look for losing streaks to start for them.
No Takers Yet
Times are changing in major league baseball. Franchisers are no longer going to sign free agents to long term contracts up to ten years.
The game has two elite free agents this offseason, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Both are looking for monumental contracts. Thus far, a few months into the free agent season, neither has found a suitor.
Both are just 26 years old and have their prime years ahead of them. Baseball players don’t typically start seeing big declines in performance until their early 30s, and just about everyone expected Harper and Machado would be choosing between decade-long megadeals.
It was not all that long ago that the Angels gave Albert Pujols a 10-year, $240 million contract a month before his 32nd birthday. And there’s more money in the game now than there was six years ago: Baseball’s revenue keeps growing.
Long term deals rarely work and teams have learned this. What will happen here is that the price tag for these two will drop and that will allow more teams to enter the sweepstakes.
Deals will get done and dropping the price may allow the usual suspects like the New York Yankees get involved. The rich will likely get richer.