It’s worth the constant reminder this time of year that anything any NFL team says about a draft prospect could be a lie. Misinformation and subterfuge is practically a separate language before the draft.
Also, it’s worth noting that Denver Broncos general manager John Elway once drafted Brock Osweiler over Russell Wilson, presumably because Osweiler was taller.
Criticizing Elway has become a sport in itself recently, especially when it comes to his evaluation of quarterbacks. So his comments at the NFL scouting combine Wednesday about Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, and how his oft-discussed height will affect his ability to function under center in the NFL, are sure to get some attention.
John Elway worried about Kyler Murray’s height when he’s under center
First of all, Elway was complimentary of Murray’s talent. He said Murray has “the ability to be a great player.” Elway also pointed out other quarterbacks have had success though they don’t have prototypical size.
But Elway also seemed skeptical that Murray could fit in the Broncos’ offense, playing mostly under center.
“I will say this, having played the position: when you’re shorter and you’re in shotgun, it doesn’t have nearly the effect because you see much better out of shotgun,” Elway said, according to the team’s transcripts. “So, if you’re in shotgun and starting in shotgun and that’s the only place you’ve ever been, you can see the field much better from shotgun. So, really, the height from shotgun doesn’t matter nearly as much if it does if you’re coming out from underneath center all the time because by the time you get back there the pocket a lot of times is caving on you. That’s where height does matter a little bit more.”
Again, keep in mind that plenty of people around the NFL don’t tell the truth about draft prospects who they covet.
“I think (height) has an impact on it because, like I said, coming out from underneath the center, it’s tougher to see coming out,” Elway said. “And shotgun puts you back there, you can see a lot more, those guys are popping up and they’re a lot farther away from you, so they don’t block your view nearly as much as being in shotgun.”
Broncos won’t go exclusively from shotgun
Elway said that he thinks it’s important to have a quarterback line up under center at least a good part of the time because a team is limited in what it can do in the running game from shotgun, and Elway wants a balanced offense. Joe Flacco, the quarterback the Broncos will officially trade for when the league year starts on March 13, has mostly played from under center. Also, Flacco is 6-foot-6.
And (yes, you’ve heard this already) Elway’s words might not mean anything. If he truly coveted Murray, it doesn’t do him any good to say it. Murray might be gone long before the Broncos can draft him at No. 10 overall. Nothing Elway says about Murray might be accurate, or have any bearing on his NFL career either.
We’ll see how it all shakes out. The Broncos will be in play for a quarterback with the 10th pick, even with the Flacco acquisition. It’s not like Flacco is exciting anyone lately.
But for now, Murray doesn’t seem high on the Broncos’ list.
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