Kyler Murray Chills While Dwayne Haskins Hustles

Pocket passing Haskins’ old school approach lacks the popularity of Murray’s dual-skilled, new-school celebrity.

I never saw people so happy to find out that a potential No. 1 NFL Draft pick measured in at a tad over 5-foot-10.

But football analysts rejoiced when Kyler Murray measured in at 5-‘10.1”, 207 pounds at the NFL Combine, which would still make him the smallest QB ever drafted in the first-round. 

With a measurement comparable to the 5-foot-11 Russell Wilson, all the talk about Murray’s height disappeared and he rose above Ohio State gunslinger Dwayne Haskins in mock drafts.


On a super-culturally significant side note: If both quarterbacks go in the Top 5, it will be the second time in history that two black quarterbacks have been selected that high. Donovan McNabb and Akili Smith broke ground when they were selected N0. 2 and No. 3 overall in 1999.

Murray and Haskins are considered the top two quarterback prospects, but they couldn’t be more different in the way they are approaching the process.

Murray is the two-sport star who has been the talk of the sports world since returning a $4.66 million signing bonus with MLB’s Oakland A’s to pursue his dream as an NFL QB.

Every move he’s made has been strategic, including his refusal to participate in the combine drills.  His height was measured and he was weighed in to dismiss the myth that he was 5-foot-9, 195 pounds, which was his playing weight in his Heisman season at Oklahoma. Once he accomplished that, he went into chill mode. 

Murray’s arm strength and his ability to be elusive is something that gives him an advantage over the 6-foot-4, 231-pound Haskins, who delivered most of his 50 TD passes from the pocket. Haskins is more of a traditional QB. It’s really a matter of style and opinion.

“In terms of [Oklahoma quarterback Kyler] Murray, people are beginning to believe almost universally he will indeed be the No. 1 pick in this draft by the Arizona Cardinals,” the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones reported before this Saturday’s sessions (via’s Jeremy Bergman). “In fact, teams picking in the top 10 believe they’ll have no chance of drafting Murray. He’s not the biggest quarterback in the world, but he is a very big presence at this combine.”


With the No. 1 pick seemingly locked down, it didn’t benefit Murray to throw the ball or participate in any drills until his Pro Day. A poor performance could only hurt his stock, which has skyrocketed since he committed to football. The growing opinion is that the Arizona Cardinals will trade last year’s top pick Josh Rosen. 

Haskins, on the other hand, is trying to show everyone that he’s the goods.  He’s willing to risk a poor performance, because that’s what the NFL is all about.

“I’ve been throwing for 11-plus years. That’s all I do,” the 21-year-old signal-caller said during his combine media session, per the  Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I was going to throw no matter what.”

The strong-armed QB had a great combine and did nothing to hurt his draft stock. He’s projected to go in the Top 5 picks and it’s rumored that Miami is infatuated with him. Some folks are still iffy, despite his college success while dealing with the drama swirling around head coach Urban Meyer.


Years ago Murray would never be considered a better prospect than the much bigger, pocket-passing Haskins. The future will reveal the truth. In the meantime, Murray’s the guy that the media hype machine has chosen to hitch the wagon to.

He can afford to play it cool. Haskins has to go a bit harder to ensure that he will eat well in the NFL.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.