To each interested team, Kyler Murray will have to answer for his perceived or possible shortcomings.
In this case, the answers can be literal.
It’s not Murray’s height — just over 5-10 he measured at the scouting combine Thursday — that concerns longtime NFL executive Scot McCloughan. No, in a league obsessed with image and distractions, a league that does not employ Colin Kaepernick and values homogeneity above all, it’s Murray’s interactions with the media that have McCloughan concerned.
The former 49ers and Redskins general manager, who worked with the Browns as a draft consultant last season — when they picked Baker Mayfield — is the type who evaluates more than the player in hopes of sniffing out the potential locker-room fit. And what he saw during a Feb. 1 interview with Dan Patrick alarmed McCloughan.
“I saw his interviews during the Super Bowl and they were awful,” McCloughan told The MMQB in a story published Thursday. “Awful. And to be a legit NFL quarterback you’ve got to have leadership qualities, like Baker. I know we drafted him in Cleveland so I’m probably a little biased, but he controls the room. He walks in and its like, whoa. Watching Kyler do an interview it’s like, ‘C’mon, guy, what do you got? Give me something.’ I’m sure they’re trying to train him up, but the thing about it is, that’s his personality. He’s just not a go-getter. Doesn’t mean he can’t be a good QB. Just means he’s not gonna be the guy in the locker room. Brett Favre was the guy, Russell Wilson is the guy, Mayfield is the guy. He just doesn’t have that personality. If I was still a GM it’d scare me.”
The Patrick interview preceded Murray officially choosing football over the Oakland A’s, occurring at an awkward limbo that was reflected in the interaction.
Murray was not comfortable as Patrick gently prodded him about which path he would go down, opening by asking Murray how the professional football he was holding felt — which was followed by seconds of silence from a Murray who did not know what to say.
Patrick tried to get the Heisman winner from Oklahoma to open up, but Murray never quite warmed to the media big stage. The interview was cringe-worthy, and if McCloughan — who ran Washington from 2015-16 — were still guiding a team, his antenna would be raised.
Even if Murray is the best quarterback in the draft, which McCloughan believes.
“When it’s all said and done, with Murray you’re getting a damn good football player,” he said.
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