INDIANAPOLIS — The Giants, and everyone else paying attention, know Kyler Murray will always be considered a “short” quarterback, no matter what happened at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, when he stepped up to get measured. Unless, of course, he suddenly grew 4 inches.
And so, that Murray surprised some by cracking the 5-foot-10 threshold — his official height came in at 5-10 ¹/₈ — is unlikely to prompt the Giants with the No. 6 pick in the draft to heighten their interest in the Heisman Trophy winner who wowed everyone in his one year as a starter at Oklahoma.
The Post previously reported the Giants, at least initially, much prefer a taller quarterback if they are to make him next in line after Eli Manning, who will return for a 16th season. Dwayne Haskins, another one-year wonder, measured in at 6-3 ³/₈ and 231 pounds and fits the profile of a bigger player the Giants prefer at the position.
This week, the Giants will meet with Murray, Haskins and the other top quarterback prospects. They have not yet stacked up any players on their draft board and will keep an open mind with all these quarterbacks, who, as coach Pat Shurmur says, “come in all shapes and sizes.”
Kyler Murray's moment of truth: He's taller than we thought
Kyler Murray was always going to be the biggest story…
Murray’s height is not the benchmark scouts were most interested in seeing — they knew he would be within an inch of their projections. As it turns out, he sizes up as shorter, by a fraction, than Russell Wilson of the Seahawks. Murray weighed in at 207, adding muscle to his college playing weight of 195 — some believe that number was inflated. With durability such an issue for smaller quarterbacks, Murray’s added bulk is encouraging.
“Russell Wilson won a Super Bowl,” Shurmur said. “I think you’ve got to look at the total player, you’ve got to look at his productivity and you’ve got to look at whether he fits. We, as coaches, will use their skill sets to the best of their ability to try to get the most out of them and help you win games.”
There is no doubt the Giants view Murray’s stature as a disadvantage — but not necessarily a disqualifier. If a player is lacking in one physical requirement on the checklist, he must make up for it somewhere else. It remains an indisputable fact sub-6-foot quarterbacks in the NFL are anomalies.
“I’ve said it before, it’s a big man’s game,” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “You can talk about it all you want, the game’s changing and everybody’s going crazy about all the stuff the college guys are doing. The bottom line is it’s a big man’s game. So, if you don’t have size, if you’re missing physical qualities, so to speak, you have to have what I call a compensating factor. And the compensating factor a lot of times is instincts.
“One of the things that I focus on, and my staff, we talk about all the time, is instincts. Does he have a feel for the game? Is he a step ahead of everybody else? Instincts and play smarts allow you to play bigger, stronger, faster. That’s a fact of life.”
It remains to be seen what reverberations Murray breaking the 5-10 barrier sends throughout the league. Perhaps it prompts the Cardinals — their new head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, has already professed his love for Murray — to move Josh Rosen in a trade and with the No. 1 overall pick turn the love into action by taking Murray. Perhaps another team is emboldened because of that extra inch to move up to get Murray.
Shurmur said he has already watched every one of Haskins’ and Murray’s 2018 snaps.
“[Haskins] is much like Kyler in a lot of ways,” Shurmur said. “These are guys that had great success really only in one year, but they’re very similar, played at top-flight programs, top-tier programs and had great success. When you watch them on tape, both outstanding players.”
Shurmur pointed out the obvious — Haskins is taller — and added, “You’ll find Kyler Murray gets more running with the ball than Haskins does.
“You’d like to see a guy have multiple seasons, but there are guys who have only played one year who’ve had success, [like Mitch] Trubisky. That’s why they come in all shapes and sizes and their backgrounds are all different. That’s the real challenge, to find the ones who are going to play well in our league.”
The NFL's other Kyler Murray concern: 'awful'
To each interested team, Kyler Murray will have to answer…
It could come to pass the Giants rank the prospects in this draft and none of the quarterbacks is a fit for them at No. 6. They want to find Manning’s eventual successor, but they have other glaring and immediate needs that correspond to this draft’s bevy of pass-rush talent.
Murray measuring in an inch or so taller than anticipated will not be the determining factor in how the Giants ultimately view him.
“When you watch him on tape, he’s an outstanding player,” Shurmur said. “For a sub-6-foot player, he only had five balls batted down. That’s why I say you’ve got to really look at the player and how he competed, how he helped his team win games, how he moved his feet. You’ve got to look at all of it and then factor it in and decide if that player is for you.”