Don’t call it a clickbait. On Thursday, Heisman-winning quarterback Kyler Murray announced that he would be attending the combine this year, an event that starts just two weeks from next Tuesday. I imagine a lot of people have been and will be comparing him to Russell Wilson, a fact that naturally should lead the Seahawks to being one of the teams that takes a close look at Murray.
Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray has decided to attend the NFL combine.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2019
It’s not as though Pete Carroll and John Schneider are going to be seeking a replacement for Wilson, who has just one year left on the deal he signed in 2015, but it’s also not as though they’ll overlook a potential one when perfect timing rolls outside the pocket. If they were considering Patrick Mahomes in 2017 — when they had virtually no chance at drafting him as it turned out — then obviously they’re going to consider taking a quarterback who might not even be considered a first round pick if not for the groundwork laid down by Carroll and Wilson in the first place. And at a time when that quarterback might actually be in a draftable position for the Seahawks.
Seattle is choosing 21st overall and while the expectation is that they’ll trade down in a year when they have just four picks — I’d put those odds over 90% — the front office isn’t going to be so dead set in their “down at all costs” ways as to pass over a potential franchise quarterback when they saw first-hand the value of a quarterback on his rookie deal. Wilson. Mahomes. Jared Goff. Carson Wentz. Dak Prescott. Dashaun Watson. Mitchell Trubisky. In some of those cases, we’ve seen that the quarterback doesn’t even have to be that good. The Jaguars maybe don’t get as far as they did in 2017 if not for adequate play by Blake Bortles and cap space for Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, and others.
Wilson is a $25 million quarterback now. He could be a $35 million quarterback next.
There’s also the possibility of a trade either way. Seattle doesn’t have a backup quarterback other than Paxton Lynch right now. Bringing in someone of that status to groom for a year and learn from the guy who is so much like him — under 6’, baseball/football player, kind eyes — almost makes a stupid amount of sense and brings immense relief around an organization that really has nowhere to go if anything happens to Wilson. The Chargers drafted Philip Rivers when they had Drew Brees. The 49ers had Steve Young and Joe Montana simultaneously. There will be questions about Murray’s ability to succeed at the next level and maybe few places that give him as good of an opportunity to be successful — or at least seem successful — than Seattle.
We don’t know yet if Murray will be a top five pick and well out of the Seahawks range. We don’t know yet how enamored the Seahawks will or won’t be by Murray as the draft season goes on. But I feel like it would be safe to say that making a connection between the two is warranted — we were already connecting Murray and Wilson long before this.