TDN Mailbag: Kyler Murray's NFL Draft Outlook

Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We've got mail! Friday Saturday mornings at The Draft Network are one of my favorite times of the week, as we wrap up an awesome week of content with some terrific questions from our readers, while also getting prepared for an exciting slate of college football this weekend.

Predictions for the CFB Playoffs, DaMarkus Lodge's value, top destination for Tyree Jackson, Hakeem Butler's rank among 2019 WRs, RB1 for the 2020 draft, top free safeties and the fate of Kyler Murray. This week's mailbag is loaded with great questions and hopefully adequate answers!

Alabama-Oklahoma play tight for awhile, but the Tide will get a couple stops and I'm not sure the Sooners get any. Bama will roll in some ridiculous high-scoring affair.

I definitely think the Irish are capable of an upset if Clemson comes in sleep-walking like we've seen them do before. The problem is, that doesn't usually happen to the Tigers in the playoffs. I think Clemson wins 27-13.

I'll withhold my Natty prediction until after Saturday.

If he goes mid-late day three, where most non-Senior Bowl wide receivers are typically slated to go at this time of year, then yes. Maybe I'll be totally underwhelmed by DaMarkus Lodge's Shrine week or Combine performance, but right now I think he should be a top 50 pick.

Interesting question. WVU makes a ton of sense on the surface, but a non-Big 12 Power 5 school may do more to develop him than if he joins a team in the stat-padder league. Ben actually wrote a piece on this very topic today for TDN.

I think Hakeem Butler is likely to be a top 10 wide receiver on my board if he comes out. Somewhere in the day 2 range would be my guess. Sorting through the guys in his "tier' right now might require athletic testing though. Tons of close scores so far in my numerical scale.

Really hard to predict who exactly will be on the board in that range, but offensive tackles I like so far are Oklahoma's Cody Ford, Kansas State's Dalton Risner (probably an interior offensive lineman in the NFL) and South Carolina's Dennis Daley later in the draft. I don't care for Kaleb McGary or what I've seen of Greg Little so far. Jawaan Taylor is a name to watch that I could see coming off the board in that range.

At cornerback, I bet Deandre Baker is still on the board there. I don't like many of the senior corners, so we need to see who else declares before I recommend anyone else in that range.

Georgia's D'Andre Swift.

I like Dawson Knox and T.J. Hockenson the most, but I haven't put them through the full eval process, so I'm not sure who will grade out higher just yet. I like some things about Kaden Smith's game, but I have concerns as well. Irv Smith might end up grading out higher if he declares for the 2019 draft. All four are in my top 75 currently.

Admittedly I need to watch a lot of the smaller school guys in this linebacker class still, but most of the Power 5 talent is terrible. It currently looks like one of the worst linebacker groups in recent memory, while cornerback has been solid and could improve quickly if a couple key underclassmen declare early. I'm not sure I'll be high enough on Devin White to want to move up for him.

Josh Allen in the first and Chase Winovich with their third round pick.

Lack of starts. It's not concerning, it just means that he will probably need time in the NFL, something not a lot of rookies are afforded these days. If he is the type of player that can learn on the go, it'll be fine. But experience is HUGE for quarterbacks. The more reps you take, ideally the game starts to slow down for you. Just look at Haskins late this season for examples of that. The system isn't a major concern in my opinion.

How about Nick Brossette from LSU? Can catch a little, powerful runner and has the traits to keep improving in pass protection. Tough guy.

If you're looking for a receiving back, James Williams from Washington State is one of my favorites, if he declares as a redshirt junior.

I need to get a look at Mike Bell from Fresno State, but the only other ideal free safety I've seen in this draft is Nasir Adderley. He's a monster. I'm not a Juan Thornhill fan. Marquise Blair has potential as a developmental free safety.

I like some things about Kyler Murray's game, especially his quick release, general accuracy and arm strength. But he wasn't close to as impressive as Baker Mayfield in this offense, despite the fact his offensive line was better and his receivers were more developed than in Mayfield's senior season. Anyone telling you that is looking for clicks.

In terms of mental processing, pocket presence/management, decision-making and field vision, Murray has a long way to go. But regardless of what I think of him, the first round buzz the media is giving him blows my mind. Do we honestly think a 5-9, 5-10 quarterback with one year of experience in a conference that plays no defense, where he was never under pressure is going to go Round 1? Especially considering that he would need to shun baseball completely to focus on football, something I have a hard time seeing him do, or believing that a team would trust him to do.

For the NFL to take a guy like Murray in the first round would be one of the more shocking and unprecedented moves in NFL history. I'm just not buying it. But there is no doubt that lighting up Bama's defense with NFL-caliber throws can help nudge him toward a future in football instead of baseball.