It’s fairly amusing, and somewhat impressive, how Kyler Murray’s representatives have turned Charley Casserly’s criticism of the Oklahoma quarterback into a story of Casserly having an axe to grind against Murray. That’s the narrative now, and it’s going to stick.
Casserly relayed on NFL Network that the comments he heard from teams on Murray regarding his NFL scouting combine interviews — let’s reiterate that, that Casserly heard from teams, not that he came up with this all himself — were the worst he had heard on a top quarterback prospect. That turned into a week of Murray’s agent and college coach attacking Casserly.
There’s a lot wrong with anonymous sources teeing off on college prospects, and there’s an argument to be made about whether Casserly should have said what he did, especially considering he coaches prospects on combine interviews.
But the funny thing is, when Casserly puts on his hat as a former general manager and breaks down Murray’s game, he has nothing but nice things to say about Murray as a player.
Charley Casserly has praise for Kyler Murray’s ability
Casserly, who has spent the week in the spotlight getting ripped as anti-Murray, said he thought Murray was better than Patrick Mahomes coming out of college. Mahomes was the 2018 NFL MVP.
“Compare him and Mahomes and the college tape, I put this guy ahead of Mahomes,” Casserly said during a segment on NFL Network. “Why? Better pocket presence than Mahomes.”
And he compared Murray favorably to Russell Wilson, who is on a Hall of Fame career track.
“I think this guy has Russell Wilson arm strength and Russell Wilson running ability,” Casserly said. “I think this guy has all the potential in the world to be a successful quarterback in the National Football League.”
Casserly praised Murray’s arm strength, vision, poise in the pocket and running ability. He said his 5-10 frame isn’t a big deal and showed various plays during the NFL Network segment from the Bears offense that showed why Murray can succeed. There’s no picking at Murray’s height as a reason he can’t succeed; even before Casserly got into the spotlight for his initial comments on Murray, he said Murray’s height wouldn’t be an issue.
Kyler Murray measures 5-10 1/8. Russell Wilson was 5-10 7/8. Kyler Murray just ended the debate on whether his height will limit whether he can be a winning QB in the NFL. @Seahawks @SoonerFootball @nflnetwork @NFLCombine
— Charley Casserly (@CharleyCasserly) February 28, 2019
Again, perhaps Casserly shouldn’t have relayed the anonymous comments he heard, and there’s definitely fatigue over sources with agendas blasting college kids before the draft through the years. But if Casserly really dislikes Murray, he’s hiding it well.
Casserly stands by comments on Murray interviews
Casserly was asked on NFL Network about the backlash to his comments, and he defended where he got them and put them in context. Murray’s agent Erik Burkhardt and college coach Lincoln Riley have practically called Casserly a liar, saying they have heard nothing but positive things about Murray’s interviews at the combine.
“Well, the sources were A-plus, they didn’t give me bad information,” Casserly said. “They gave me the information they had in their 15-minute interviews.
“Now, let’s look at the big picture here, no team is going to dismiss a player over a 15-minute interview at the combine. It might raise concerns that you’ll raise with the player when you have a whole day to spend with him when you work him out in the spring.”
It’s one of the weirdest feuds of the pre-draft process. Casserly has positive things to say about Murray. He relayed some things he insists he heard from teams about Murray’s interviews, and also pointed out it’s just a 15-minute combine interview and it’s really not that big of a deal.
But in the month-plus before the draft, we’re sure to hear plenty more about how Casserly hates Murray.
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