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Media Roundup: Highlights from QB Interviews


Before taking the field for timing and testing drills Saturday, draft-eligible quarterbacks fielded a myriad of questions from media members during their podium sessions Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray announced that he will not be participating in any on-field drills in Indianapolis, deferring instead to Oklahoma's Pro Day (scheduled for March 13).

"That's just the timeline that me and my family, my agent and my coaches felt was best," Murray said when questioned about the decision.

Murray also was asked about another decision he made recently, in which he committed to pursuing the NFL over a pro baseball career. The Sooner was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft.

"Yes, it's a final decision," Murray said of choosing football. "I'm here. I'm ready to go. I was born a football player. I love this game. There was no turning back when I made this decision. I'm 100-percent in."

Murray created buzz Thursday when official measurements marked him at just above 5-foot-10. The shorter-statured quarterback has drawn comparisons to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, whose height mirrors Murray's.

"I've studied a lot of quarterbacks in the league but him in particular just because we're similar in height," Murray said of Wilson. "He's had a lot of success, obviously. I've gotten to talk to him a couple of times. It's good to have him in my corner as a resource. Obviously, I look up to him. Watching him do it at 5-10 and kind of putting doubters to rest, it's a good deal."

NFL Media's Bucky Brooks ranked Murray as this year's second-best quarterback entering the draft. Dane Brugler of The Athletic tabbed Murray at third among passers.

Here are some highlights from media sessions with quarterback prospects:

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks 1, Brugler 1

On how football has shaped him personally: "I feel like football has definitely helped me, but the biggest thing with me has always been faith and family. Football has always been part of what I do, not who I am. Growing up I always had strong religion, strong faith in Christ and then having a great family and foundation that pushed me to do whatever I wanted to do in life, and football has helped me build myself as a character, as a person, given me a great persona as far as being charismatic and things of that nature. So football is more so fun to me. It's a game, and I love playing it."

On growing up in New Jersey: "I remember a lot of fun growing up in New Jersey. I went to a lot of Nets games back when Jason Kidd was the point guard. I went to some Giants game back when they had [Jeremy] Shockey and Tiki Barber and those guys. I went to Amani Toomer camps when I was little. So I have a lot of fond memories from New Jersey. My best friend is from [MJ], Mohamed Javie, who is [Falcons receiver] Mohamed Sanu's nephew. [MJ] and I have a great relationship still."

Daniel Jones, Duke

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks 4, Brugler 2

On connection with Coach David Cutcliffe and the Manning family: "Being in that group, being with Coach Cut' and the Mannings, is an honor and something I appreciate very much. The preparation that I have been through with Coach Cut' at Duke, I think, is something that will prepare me well for this step. And being able to have the relationships I have with Eli and Peyton, it's been special about my process, and I think something that will help me."

Drew Lock, Missouri

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks 4, Brugler 4

On being 'this close' to being an NFL QB: "It's wild. It's really fun. I started thinking about it. You've watched guys run 40s your whole life at the NFL Combine. To think tomorrow I'm going to be lining up, taking my deep breath, knowing the camera is right there on your face. I'm going to have to fly. Hopefully I run a good time. But no, it's going to be awesome. I'm super excited about it."

On what makes him stand out among other tops QBs: "One of the best things I do is I'm able to make plays out of the pocket. I'm not just the typical guy that's going to stand in there and take shots. I want to be able to get out of the pocket when the pocket breaks down. I'm going to be a little more athletic than some people would peg me as in some of the drills we do out here. I'm excited to be able to show that to people."

Ryan Finley, N.C. State

Pre-combine draft rankings: Brooks 5, Brugler 6

On seeing teammate Garrett Bradbury's combine success: "It makes me smile, to be honest, how well he's done. Thirty-four reps [at the bench press], you know, we've been talking about him performing at the bench press for a long time. … It's pretty awesome. We've been together, living together and kind of doing this thing together – getting ready to be professionals for a long time. Seeing his success is really awesome."

Will Grier, West Virginia

Pre-combine draft rankings: not ranked by Brooks, Brugler 5

On balancing football with a young family: "Obviously having a wife and a daughter is a huge responsibility, so I did it at the college level, where you're obviously playing football. I treated that like a profession. I acted as a pro when it came to playing football. I also had academics to take care of. I was lucky enough to graduate in December of 2017, do a year of grad school, [and] I take that seriously. You also add the priority and responsibility of a daughter and having a wife that you not only provide for, but I want to be a good husband and father. I take pride in being a hard worker. I take pride in waking up every day and getting my responsibilities done for that day and [making] sure that everybody that I owe it to is getting my all."