The start of the 2019 NFL Combine brings with it a chance for Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray to prove he’s worth being the first quarterback off the board come April. In a perfect world, Murray or Dwayne Haskins (or any other quarterback) would convince a team that he is a can’t miss prospect who can be their quarterback of the future. More importantly, Murray or Haskins would convince a team that they can’t afford to miss on them, and are in turn willing to move up in the draft to ensure they can land one of the quarterbacks.
Enter anonymous “National Scout.”
Chicago Bears reporter Brad Biggs released a pre-Combine list of storylines to follow this offseason. In it, he spoke with “the national scout for one team” who was effusive in his praise of Murray, comparing him favorably with Baker Mayfield.
“You look at the tape and it is better than Baker Mayfield’s tape,” said the national scout for one team. “He is a more accurate passer than Baker Mayfield and he’s probably got a little more zip on the ball, a little more arm strength. He can make you miss in a phone booth now too.
“How high will he go? You have to decide if you are going to take him because you’re going to change everything you do offensively. You’re not going to be able to do pure pocket passing. … Even though they say he was in the pocket at OU, he’s in the shotgun and then he takes three steps back and he’s 9 yards deep, ball is out. You can’t expect him to sit in the pocket and be successful. You’ve got to change your offense, you’ve got to move him around. You’ve got to give him opportunities to run. If you are willing to do that, you take him. If you’re not willing to do that, you take (Ohio State’s Dwayne) Haskins. Because Haskins is going to be good too.”
I would all but guarantee that this national scout does not work for a team interested in Murray — and maybe not even interested in the quarterback position entirely. That is quite a few teams, but I would not be surprised if the San Francisco 49ers’ scouts, personnel executives, and coaches were pushing the quarterbacks with any outlets they can. Nothing may come of it, but why not try and convince one or more teams that they need to get aggressive for these quarterbacks.
The NFL Combine gets going on Tuesday, and every team will be well-represented in Indianapolis. There will be extensive chatter and teams will be strategic in the information they try to get out there around the league. A scout talking to another scout might not get away with BS’ing about a player, but if 49ers national scout Justin Chabot wanted to talk up a prospect the 49ers have no interest in with a random national media member, I can’t imagine that would be frowned upon by the John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall for some of the chatter during the Combine and in the hours after when NFL folks are out having a good time in Indianapolis.