NFL’s Possible Top Pick Kyler Murray Draws Withering Criticism From Former GM

The NFL scouting combine creates its own set of dramas Take 250 primo athletes, the league’s coaches and scouts and the many agents who want to talk about their...

The NFL scouting combine creates its own set of dramas

Take 250 primo athletes, the league’s coaches and scouts and the many agents who want to talk about their current players, and you’ve got a gossip-fest where anonymous comments often find their way into the media.

Can’t always trust that kind of talk. There’s way too much maneuvering going to.

NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly, formerly the general manager of the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, simply tore up Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the quarterback from Oklahoma pegged as the possible overall No. 1 pick by the Arizona Cardinals.

Murray didn’t work out at the merging, but he met with teams, sat through their questions and displayed his skills at analyzing plays. Casserly said two teams told Murray was a disaster: “Leadership — not good. Study habits — not good. The board work (analyzing plays)— below not good.”

And to think the biggest issue before the combine was Murray’s physical stature – he’s 5-foot-10, a bit over 200 pounds. That’s smallish for the NFL, but not a predictor of failure on the field.

Torching a kid while using anonymous comments is not unusual. It’s wrong, but it’s not unusual. Murray’s college coach, Lincoln Riley, has responded forcefully in favor of his former player and noted that Casserly had certainly not talked to him about Murray.

Me? I’ve known Casserly for close to 30 years. I’ve interviewed him many times. One moment stands out.

In 2011, when I was the Washington Redskins’ editorial director, I interviewed Casserly about a particular quarterback expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

Casserly said he would not draft this player first. He would not draft this player in the first round. He would not draft this player at all.

That was Cam Newton. Taken No. 1 by the Carolina Panthers. In 2015 he threw 35 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions to the lead the Panthers to their only Super Bowl.

Gossip. It used to be called the devil’s radio. It still is.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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