What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ George Schroeder was on hand for Kyler Murray’s pro day and tells us what he heard from those in attendance.
NORMAN, Okla. – Kyler Murray is apparently still 5-10 1/8, and sadly we might never know just how fast he runs the 40-yard dash. But the quarterback might have answered a few more questions for roughly 80 NFL coaches, scouts and front office personnel with a crisp passing workout at Oklahoma’s pro day.
The Heisman Trophy winner was seen by many as a big winner at the NFL scouting combine last month – despite not working out – when he was taller than some had expected. The simple measurement, coming after speculation he might not even be 5-9, fueled buzz that the electric playmaker might go No. 1 overall in the NFL draft. But in part because Murray didn’t participate in drills in Indianapolis, Wednesday’s event on the Oklahoma campus was highly anticipated.
Murray weighed in at 205 pounds, two pounds lighter than at the combine. He declined to have his height recorded and did not participate in speed or agility testing, either – though one Oklahoma assistant estimated he would’ve been timed in the 4.3-second range for the 40.
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But Murray said running and performing those other drills “wasn’t necessary,” and he’s probably right; his speed and athletic ability isn’t in question. The NFL personnel gathered in Norman wanted to see him throw.
He completed 61 of 67 passes, including a couple of drops, while throwing a variety of routes. During a portion of the scripted workout, which was coordinated by former NFL quarterback and coach Jim Zorn, who’s been working with Murray in recent weeks, Murray simulated taking snaps from under center.
Afterward, an NFL assistant coach described the workout to USA TODAY Sports as “impressive,” saying Murray showed superior accuracy and arm strength. It’s among the things Murray wanted to prove.
“I pride myself in being a passer,” Murray said. “Hopefully I showed I can throw the ball.”
One question Murray didn’t answer concerned recent harsh criticism from former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, who said after the combine he’d been told Murray did not come across well during interviews with teams.
“(Murray) better hope Kliff Kingsbury takes him No. 1 because this was not good,” Casserly said on NFL Network, referring to speculation the Arizona Cardinals might select the quarterback. “These were the worst comments I ever got on a high-rated quarterback and I’ve been doing this a long time. … Leadership, not good. Study habits, not good. The board work, below not good. Not good in any of those areas, raising major concerns about what this guy is going to do.”
Murray claimed not to be aware of Casserly’s comments and told the NFL Network he had “nothing to say about it.”
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“Obviously, hearing the news and stuff like that, I know who I am,” Murray said. “My teammates know who I am. My coaches know who I am. I love playing this game. I’m a winner. It is what it is. … We’re good. We move on.”
During an interview session later, Murray, who met briefly Wednesday with a contingent from the New York Giants, said the feedback he’d gotten from teams after the combine was good.
“I felt amazing at the combine,” he said. “Every meeting I had went well. At least to my face, nobody was negative. I had fun with it. It was a good experience.”
Asked to describe his leadership skills, Murray said, “Ask my teammates” – and Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford came to his defense.
“Anything about that guy is not questionable,” Ford said. “His heart, his mentality – Kyler’s a great teammate. Even when he didn’t play (as a backup to Baker Mayfield), he was pushing everybody.
“For somebody to say he’s not a leader, that’s not right. If you play with a guy like Kyler, you definitely respect the way he carries himself.”
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