Prospect Anthems Vol. 2: Kyler Murray

The second prospect in the prospect anthems series is quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray is a very disruptive prospect. He’s not like a lot of other players. He had options. People have been going after him for months trying to get the answer, baseball or football? His non-answers somehow gave the kid a reputation as being immature, or that he doesn’t care. He must not want to play football. While different versions went around of what is considered a “bad interviewee,” there are some similarities to one of the best artists to ever do it, Kanye West. One song best describes Kanye’s career and really reminds me of Kyler, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”

La, la, la la (Yeah)

Wait ’til I get my money right

These two majestic opening lines before the beat drops really say a lot. “Wait til I get my money right” might be one of the boldest lines in hip hop history. This part is a declaration of confidence letting people know that it will happen. It could easily be “Wait til I get my money right” or “Wait til I get my money, right.” Either way, it’s an incredibly confident statement. It leads into this stadium anthem song that says I’m ready for the big stage, and instills confidence in others. It’s the same with Kyler. He’s ready for the big stage, and comes across as a confident player with swagger. When he’s on the field, he elevates those around him. People questioned if the NFL would take a smaller guy with his skillset in round one because the NFL can be archaic at times. This opening line is Kyler letting people know you shouldn’t question his decision to play football.

To whom much is given, much is tested

This is basically the classic Spider-Man line: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Kyler has a ton of god-gifted talent, but is being questioned by the Charlie Casserly’s of the league on his leadership. While no teammate or coach has spoken negatively, many people will judge what they may not understand. He’s being tested now, but it’s because of the fact that he could go number one overall. When you are on top, people will try to poke holes and tear you down. This is only natural in the world in which we live. He showed his ability to lead a team in the face of adversity, when they played Alabama. It was a big sign of leadership. He was able to rally the troops and make a game of it. Murray will need to prove that at the next level his leadership and talent can emerge the way that Pat Mahomes did in Kansas City.

I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny

And what I do? Act more stupidly

Have Murray’s interviews been the best? Maybe not. The pressure of making the decision between baseball and football, and the scrutiny he was under, is tough for an introverted kid to handle. How his interview was viewed is a bit over the top in my opinion. There’s people I have worked with in my career that will openly say that when they interviewed it went poorly. However, they are great in a team setting and what they bring to the table is more important. Just because you handle a room smoothly does not mean you are better than the person who isn’t great at interviews. It just makes you different. Murray will continue to be scrutinized, which is what Kanye was saying here. He’s made some bad decisions and sometimes it’s from feeling the pressure of constantly being under a microscope. Kanye is, at heart, an introverted dude much like Murray.

I guess the money should’ve changed him

I guess I should’ve forgot where I came from

I’m viewing this a little differently here, but that’s what music should be. There can be different interpretations of music, and of what a NFL QB is. Also, just because you get the money, aka “make it”, doesn’t mean you should forget where you came from. This is where I say Kyler should embrace his baseball traits, much like Mahomes did. He came from baseball beginnings where you have quick release, weird angled throws trying to get the runner, and you throw on the run and off platform. These are all traits that can be highly successful in football. In today’s NFL, the more you can do inside and outside the pocket is a good thing. So while he’s playing football, he should never forget the things he learned in baseball that can translate over.

Let that man get past

He don’t even stop to get gas

If he can move through the rumors, he can drive off of fumes ’cause

How he move in a room full of no’s?

Murray is quick on the field, and can use his legs. He’s faster than most players, and can use his running ability to shine. He can get past the defenders, and doesn’t need to stop the pacing in the right offense for him. So while the defense may get gassed, Kyler can maintain that pace. Additionally, there’s a lot of talk of him being short, and getting balls batted down. Getting balls past the defenders isn’t an issue for Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, or Baker Mayfield. As a matter of fact, it’s often the taller guys like Blake Bortles, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton who have more balls batted down. Murray was tied for least amount of balls batted down from a QB entering the draft this year with six. He’s been playing his whole career at a smaller height, and it just means these guys know how to play that way. They can find the windows. Add on that he’s a baseball guy, and those throws may be easier for him than many guys who are 6’4” and up. Obviously Murray’s name is involved in a ton of rumors right now. Will the Cardinals take him? Will the Raiders take him? There’s also a handful of teams that are just so old-school in what a prototypical QB is, that they are giving him a “no” before even giving him a chance. And that’s just fine. He shouldn’t go to a team that isn’t forward-thinking, and has to work the QB into their offense rather than working the offense around him.

 With way less effort, ’cause when you try hard

That’s when you die hard

Kyler makes the game seem so effortless at times that people can question his passion and effort. This happens a lot with smooth players in the NBA or MLB. Because it looks so easy, they look lazy or like someone who doesn’t care. Just because you aren’t charging the bag like Pete Rose doesn’t mean you may not be gliding like Kenny Lofton. When you try harder, you may also die harder by throwing picks and making mistakes. Play within yourself, and be in rhythm, and you don’t always need to press. Murray does an excellent job of this. He can avoid a defender, spin around, and throw a 60 yard strike on a rope, off one foot, without even making it look like he tried.

La, la, la la

Wait ’til I get my money right

La, la, la la

Then you can’t tell me nothing, right?

Excuse me, was you saying something?

Uh uh, you can’t tell me nothing

For Murray, making it to the league and being successful will be the juice he needs the old heads like Bill Polian to drink. He’s not moving to slot receiver. He’ll be successful at QB and will be able to say “you can’t tell me nothing, right?” I, for one, cannot wait to see him be successful and then hear these guys backtrack. Murray, like Kanye, is confident in himself, and will be very good at his craft. Don’t listen to the haters, Kyler. Continue to be yourself, and play your game because the NFL is better for it. You are inspiring kids all over by saying anything others are saying can’t hold you down. They Can’t Tell You Nothing.

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