Kyler Murray is heading to the NFL combine.
The former Oklahoma quarterback’s name was on the list of 2019 combine participants released by the league on Thursday. His potential attendance at the combine, which begins Feb. 26, could be a big clue about his professional aspirations.
The two-sport star was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft. Murray played the 2018 college football season with the intention of heading to spring training with the A’s. Spring training officially begins for the A’s on Feb. 15.
Murray could report to spring training and then leave for the combine. But that seems unlikely, if not impossible. The A’s probably wouldn’t be too inclined to let him leave.
Murray declared for the draft in January
Murray won the 2018 Heisman Trophy as a junior and could have returned for his senior season at Oklahoma and delayed his decision to play professional sports for another season. But he declared just ahead of the NFL’s draft declaration deadline on Jan. 15.
He could be a first-round pick as the NFL evaluation of quarterbacks changes with the recent success of Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield. Murray is under 6-foot and short for a prototypical NFL quarterback. But Mayfield’s 6-foot measurement didn’t prevent him from being drafted at No. 1 by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL draft on the heels of a Heisman-winning season as Oklahoma’s quarterback.
If Murray chooses football and is drafted in the first round of the NFL draft he’ll be the first player to go in the first round of both the NFL and MLB drafts.
Murray had evaded a question about the combine earlier
Murray was asked about going to the NFL combine on the Dan Patrick Show in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. He didn’t exactly have an answer ready as he was awkwardly silent after the not-unexpected question was asked of him.
Kyler Murray dodged Dan Patrick’s questions about the combine and his pro day with some very awkward silence pic.twitter.com/10plRiVtIM
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) February 1, 2019
If Murray attends the combine as is now expected, he’s under no obligation to throw in Indianapolis. He could save passing workouts for a pro day at Oklahoma. He could choose to go through drills at the combine or simply interview with teams interested in drafting him this spring.
Murray’s A’s contract worth almost $5 million
The contract Murray signed with the A’s is worth $4.66 million. He’s likely to be in the minor leagues for a few years if he chooses to play baseball.
Murray would make more guaranteed money playing football if he was drafted in the first round. He would also have a bigger chance to be an immediate star in the NFL. Both football and baseball scouts broke down Murray’s options in December to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel.
For what it’s worth, Bo Jackson, the biggest two-sport star in modern American history, doesn’t have much advice for Murray other than for the Oklahoma QB to follow his heart and mind. Given that Murray’s name is on the combine list, it’s reasonable to wonder if his heart and mind are leaning toward football.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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