NORMAN, Okla. -- Former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray came into his pro day workout understanding one key thing: This was the moment when he had to deliver. Nobody had the benefit of watching him compete at a college all-star game like the Senior Bowl. He spent the NFL Scouting Combine watching other quarterbacks work out on March 2 after deciding he wouldn't participate in any drills or tests. So this was the first time any decision-maker actually could evaluate his ability on the field in person since his college football season came to an end.
Murray still didn't give his audience everything they hoped to see in Norman. All he did was stand on a scale -- where he weighed 205 pounds, which was two pounds lighter than the weight he checked in at during the combine -- and throw passes to receivers. That ultimately was about all he had to do, because he clearly displayed the type of arm talent that has made him such a hot prospect in the first place. Murray threw 70 passes on Wednesday afternoon. Not one left people questioning his potential to thrive at the position.
In fact, here are five of the most pressing questions that did result from Murray's performance:
1) Did Murray help his draft stock?
It's not so much that Murray helped his draft stock as much as he solidified it. All you had to do was watch five minutes of him throwing passes to see how gifted he is in that department. Murray has a smooth delivery, a motion so effortless that you are almost shocked by how much velocity he can put on a football traveling through the air. He lofted deep balls 60 yards downfield. He fired darts when trying to hit comeback patterns and out routes. His accuracy was so sharp that rarely did his receivers have to break stride when making catches.
As one AFC scout said, "This guy can obviously throw the football. He can do a lot of things with that arm, and he can make it look easy in the process. You can talk all you want about him being (5-foot-10), but he can sling it."
2) How much did it hurt him to not run the 40-yard dash?
The only real disappointment for the scouts in attendance was Murray's decision not to run the 40-yard dash. When asked about his refusal, he said, "I'm pretty confident in my ability to get out of the pocket, be fast and run on the field." Still, that wasn't something that people wanted to hear. Many of the attendees were miffed about that choice, likely because one of Murray's greatest traits is his explosiveness.
There's also the question of why he'd be so reluctant to give scouts what they wanted in his home venue after he sat out at the combine. There were some people who minimized the impact of the move -- "All you have to do is watch his games to see that he's plenty fast enough," said one AFC assistant coach -- but overall, it wasn't a good look.
3) How did he respond to the negative criticism he received coming out of the combine?
This workout gave Murray his first chance to address the negative comments that surfaced after he interviewed with various teams at the combine. NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly reported that some teams questioned Murray's leadership, work ethic and football intelligence after meeting with him in Indianapolis. When asked how he wanted to react to those assessments, Murray took the high road. "I have nothing to say about it," Murray said. "I know who I am. My teammates know who I am. And my coaches know who I am. I enjoy playing this game and I'm a winner. So it is what it is."
4) What are the big questions left for him to answer?
As good as Murray was throwing the football on Wednesday, the common theme that kept coming up in conversations with scouts involved his playing style. It's apparent that plenty of evaluators view him as a quarterback who likes to run too much for somebody who hopes to have a long career in the NFL. As one AFC executive said, "The guys who run around only last three or four years at this level. And with somebody his size, he's going to get hit hard by anybody who has a chance to take a shot at him."
Another AFC assistant coach added that Murray's constant movement in college also makes it harder to evaluate his ability in the pocket. "The thing that is so hard to tell right now is how he throws from inside the pocket. A lot of the film shows him throwing on the move or from pockets where there is a lot more space to operate," said the assistant coach. "That's not just him, it's how the college game is today. But in the NFL, those pockets get really tight, and they break down fast. You want to see how he adapts to those kinds of issues."
5) How likely is he to be the top pick in the draft?
Murray definitely didn't do anything to stifle the rumors that the Arizona Cardinals are interested in taking him with the first overall pick. In fact, it was interesting that nobody from the Cardinals' brass -- neither head coach Kliff Kingsbury nor general manager Steve Keim -- attended this pro day. It's fair to say that both men might have needed to stick around Arizona to meet new free-agent acquisitions, but they may be waiting for the chance to meet with Murray during a private visit. Keep in mind, the Cleveland Browns didn't have any noteworthy attendees at Baker Mayfield's pro day last year, and they wound up making him the top pick in the 2018 draft. Murray still has more work to do, but this much is true: He already looks like the most dynamic player in this year's class.