Accuracy. Arm strength. Anticipation. Touch. Mobility. Running down the early film breakdowns, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray reads like a perfect NFL prospect. Until you get to the caveat.
Whether scouts cite height (5-foot-10) or a slight build (195), seemingly the only thing stopping the Oklahoma Sooners signal-caller from being the unanimous top QB in the 2019 draft is his size.
His former coach, Lincoln Riley, thinks that the height excuse will prove to be poppycock.
Speaking with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday, the Oklahoma coach was asked what he tells other NFL scouts and coaches when asked about how Murray's size will influence his game at the next level.
"Oh, I think it's just talking about how we used him and how between having Baker [Mayfield] and Kyler here, [there wasn't] a scenario where we said, 'Well we're not going to run this play or not going to run that play or not going to protect this or like this or that because these guys are 5-10 and 6-foot instead of 6-4,'" Riley said. "I mean, it's just never come into the equation with us, and we do quite a bit with those guys.
"So, I think Kyler is like Baker in that he is short. He's been short all of his life. He's learned to deal with it. It's not a factor for him. We had an NFL-sized offensive line. Played against a lot of really, really good defensive lines. I mean, the guy I think had four or five batted-down passes, I think, the whole season. It's just not much of a factor, as much as people would think it is. We got to live that for really the last four years playing with what guys would consider short, prototypical quarterbacks, and it was never an issue for us. I think it's something that will get made a lot of at draft time, and I think once Kyler starts playing, like Baker, I don't think it will be a factor at all."
Riley employs a system that took advantage of Murray's dynamic traits while negating size concerns. It's on whatever NFL organization that selects Murray to adjust likewise. If size is something a team's GM desires above other traits in his QB evaluation, Murray likely won't be his cup of tea. And another, more open-minded organization will benefit.