Jon Gruden may be falling for a quarterback who still might play baseball instead.
While Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray has declared for the NFL draft, the Oklahoma product has not yet decided whether he will pursue a baseball career instead with the Oakland A’s.
In the meantime, despite being undersized at 5-foot-10, Murray has changed Gruden’s thinking on what a typical quarterback should look like.
“I used to think that a lot, until I saw Drew Brees twice a year in Tampa, then I met Russell Wilson coming out of N.C. State, and now I’m watching this kid, Murray, coming out of Oklahoma, and I’m putting away all the prototypes I once had,” Gruden told reporters Tuesday. “I used to have a prototype for hand size, height, arm strength, all that stuff.
“We’re looking for guys that can play and do a lot of different things. They come in all shapes and sizes nowadays.”
Gruden already has a quarterback under contract who measures out closer to the archetype of an NFL quarterback — the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Derek Carr — but he may be on the hunt for a different signal-caller. Gruden and Carr had a contentious relationship in the coach’s first season. Gruden has shown a willingness to take chances as long as it fits his vision, as he did in trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper — two of the Raiders’ most talented players.
The Raiders have three first-round draft picks in April at No. 4, 24 and 27 with the latter two coming via the Mack and Cooper deals.
The Raiders head coach, entering his second year in this stint, is getting a close-up look at some other quarterback prospects this week while coaching in the Senior Bowl. Murray, a junior, won’t be there, but he still has Gruden rethinking his ways.