Miller: Murray Closer To Michael Vick Than Russell Wilson

Bleacher Report NFL Draft insider Matt Miller has "never evaluated anyone like" Kyler Murray

The DA Show
March 04, 2019 - 12:44 pm
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After measuring favorably at the NFL Combine, Kyler Murray’s draft stock is at an all-time high. In fact, Bleacher Report NFL Draft insider Matt Miller believes Murray will be the No. 1 pick on April 25.

“I do,” Miller said on The DA Show. “Based on all the conversations that I’ve been having for two months – the night of the national championship game, I was having a conversation with an NFL executive, and he said, ‘Kingsbury is going to get a job. He’s going to draft Kyler Murray.’ Sure enough, Kingsbury gets hired two days later by the Cardinals, and that talk has not stopped.”

The Cardinals aren’t doing themselves any favors on that front, either.

“It doesn’t help that (general manager) Steve Keim comes out and says, ‘Josh Rosen is our quarterback for now,’” Miller said. “It doesn’t help that Kliff Kingsbury looks like a guy in the honeymoon phase every time he talks about Kyler Murray. The fact that he recruited him as a high school quarterback way back in the day – there are just too many dots that connect at this point. If you’re going to hire a Kliff Kingsbury, you got to let him pick his quarterback, and it seems like Kyler Murray is his guy.”

Miller believes Murray would have been a top-five pick regardless of where Kingsbury ended up, in part because his hype is “through the roof.”

“If (Kingsbury) had gone to the Packers, I think Aaron Rodgers is good enough that he could have made that work,” Miller said. “He’s also an athletic quarterback. When you look at Josh Rosen, who they have now in Arizona, he can’t move. That was the biggest knock on him, other than personality, coming out of UCLA. So now you have a guy who didn’t really get along with teammates in college or coaches in college, there’s already been rumors that he’s not getting along well with some of the people in Arizona, and he doesn’t fit your scheme? I think that’s a pretty good time to wash your hands of it and trade him while he still has value. 

“If he plays another year poorly like he did as a rookie – let’s not hide the fact that he was the worst of the rookie quarterbacks this year – then you’re stuck. Now the value is still high enough that you can flip him and get a decent return on investment.”

Let’s assume that Murray is the No. 1 pick. Will he actually have success with the Cardinals – or in the NFL in general?

Miller thinks so.

“I do,” he said. "I’ve never evaluated anyone like him. I’ve made comparisons to Russell Wilson, but he’s so much faster than Russell Wilson. People at Oklahoma will tell you this guy was running in the 4.3s. Russ ran a 4.55. It might be closer to Michael Vick in terms of what kind of athlete he is – and imagine Michael Vick in today’s NFL. Not the year 2000, but right now, with it being a wide open game, everybody running four and five receivers, pistol sets, and RPOs. A player like that can be incredibly dangerous with how the league plays now where everybody is fast and the rules favor the quarterback not getting hit. So I think Kyler is coming in at the perfect time for where the NFL is going.”

“(Wherever he goes), they’re going to be innovative enough to make it work with him,” Miller continued. “We’ve seen it with Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes, even Jared Goff. These guys have talent, and coaches now are smart enough to accept that we’re going to change things up to fit this quarterback that we’ve invested in.”

Some NFL folks, of course, are staying away from Murray. They question his personality and commitment to the game. Even Miller acknowledged that Murray can come off “kind of uninterested and aloof.”

Still, Miller sees that changing in the coming months.

“He never had that opportunity to be all-in with football because he never thought it was a realistic future,” Miller explained. “Even out of high school, he was told he was too small. So until this past year – and even late in the year, right before he won the Heisman Trophy – I don’t think he ever considered the fact that he had a chance to be an NFL quarterback at 5-10. But as the league evolved and as he had success, I think that became a reality. Now that football is real, I think there’s a lot more expectation that he’s going to dive all in.”