INDIANAPOLIS -- Every year, there are days I mark on my calendar because of their importance, and this year is no different. Those days include the deadline to file taxes, my wife's birthday, Episode 1 of the final season of "Game of Thrones" and Kyler Murray's weigh-in day.
I still have time to prep for three of those events, but I checked one off on Thursday when Kyler Murray "won" his weigh-in at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine -- if someone can win a weigh-in, that is. At 5-foot-10 1/8, Murray's recorded height eclipsed even the mark listed on his official bio at Oklahoma, while his weight (207 pounds) and hand size (9.5 inches) were also big plusses.
Murray is considered either dynamic or enigmatic by NFL evaluators, so let's try and make sense of which teams could be in the running for the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner.
Front-runner: Arizona Cardinals
Chance of landing Murray: 33 percent
Every media member, draftnik and fan is doing his or her best to interpret and read between the lines of any and all comments issued by GM Steve Keim and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Here are the facts:
1) Kingsbury gushed about Murray when the Heisman winner was still at Oklahoma, saying he would draft Murray with the No. 1 overall pick if he could. Well, now he can.
2) Murray is uniquely suited to escape from pressure, which helps, since the Cardinals allowed 52 sacks last season.
3) Kingsbury is set to install a shotgun-oriented offense, which is exactly what Murray needs in the NFL.
4) Keim needs to hit a home run with this draft, and I don't see a sure thing at No. 1 -- the top talent in this draft is not as rich as that of past years.
Maybe the Cardinals are fully invested in Josh Rosen and will leak a Murray connection moving forward to help them potentially find a trade partner who will pay a high price to move up and pick the former Sooners QB. However, I think the fit is simply too clean not to make the Cardinals the clear favorite to land Murray.
Need the help: Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals
Chance of landing Murray: 15 percent
Raiders (No. 4 overall pick): While Derek Carr threw for more than 4,000 yards and completed 68 percent of his passes under Jon Gruden last season, the end result was still 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and four wins, and that just isn't going to cut it. Gruden has referenced Russell Wilson's and Drew Brees' success when asked whether Murray's height would be problematic in the NFL, saying he's done with "all the prototypes" he once had. The Raiders have three first-round picks and could use a new face of the franchise for when they make their move to Las Vegas in 2020.
Giants (No. 6): I understand that conventional wisdom says Murray doesn't fit what GM Dave Gettleman will be looking for in a quarterback, but the same thing could have been said about Browns GM John Dorsey and the quarterback he ended up drafting last year. Dorsey is notorious for coveting height, weight and speed, but he learned after meeting Baker Mayfield that the 2017 Heisman winner had The It Factor, and that was good enough for him. The Giants brass may think the same thing about Murray after meeting with him. And what's wrong with a world that has Saquon Barkley and Kyler Murray in the same backfield?
Bengals (No. 11): The Bengals might have to move up in the draft to make this happen. After eight years as Marvin Lewis' starting quarterback in Cincinnati, Andy Dalton's reign may be more tenuous with a new coaching staff in place. New head coach Zac Taylor comes from an offense that primarily lined up under center, and if he stays true to that strategy, then Murray may not be the ideal fit. However, games are won and lost by dynamic quarterbacks, and nobody knows that better than a former quarterback like Taylor.
Dolphins (No. 13):New head coach Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea come over from New England, which means they know all too well the difference a special quarterback can make in an organization's long-term success. Clearly, Murray is the polar opposite of Tom Brady, from a playing-style standpoint. That said, both know how to deliver in big moments. And it's Murray's big-time, special play-making traits that could mean the incumbent in Miami, Ryan Tannehill, will be searching for a new home next season. If Murray were to make it to No. 13, he might very well be the guy. But would Miami be willing to move up for him?
Outside shot: Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins
Chance of landing Murray: 8 percent
Redskins (No. 15): The Redskins have a giant hole at quarterback with Alex Smith still working his way back from a serious leg injury, and they have a total of four picks inside the top 100 with which to potentially fill it. Washington needs receiver help, but one of the best ways to help receivers who struggle to separate is to give them additional time to uncover, and no QB in this class is better at extending plays than Murray. Still, Washington has plenty of other areas it needs to address, and so they may not be willing to part with the picks it would require to trade up for Murray.
Jaguars (No. 7): At this point, most around the NFL believe Tom Coughlin is dead set on adding free agent quarterback Nick Foles as a legitimate game-ready, win-now option. The Jaguars do have some cap issues that need to be sorted out before they can make that happen, though, and what if they are outbid in the process by another quarterback-needy team? In that scenario, Murray would have to receive strong consideration if he were to fall to No. 7. Let's not forget that the Jaguars had success out of a zone-read look with Blake Bortles previously, and a shotgun-based RPO offense might make sense.
Long shot: Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots
Chance of landing Murray: 3 percent
Steelers (No. 20): Let's say the Steelers bring in an impressive haul of draft picks by trading Antonio Brown. In that scenario, it might make some sense to consider Murray if he were to fall a little ways down the draft board. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert is willing to move up in the draft for a transcendent talent (see: Troy Polamalu in 2003) and maybe there is an outside shot that he would consider such a move for Ben Roethlisberger's successor.
Patriots (No. 32): The least predictable team in the NFL should be on this list, considering New England has six selections inside the first 101 picks. We know all about Brady's age (41), and we have to assume that he won't play forever. With so much draft capital (12 total picks) and Belichick's philosophy of breaking from convention, Murray to the Patriots shouldn't be flatly dismissed. Longshot? Yes. Ruled out? No.