Kyler Murray, the electric Heisman Trophy winner and perhaps the most polarizing quarterback in this year's draft, officially committed to football over baseball on Monday. He needed to do that to convince an NFL team to draft him in the first round.
And while he almost certainly won't end up as the Giants' quarterback, he could have an impact on who will.
Right now, the NFL world seems mixed on Murray, mostly due to his height, which is listed at 5-foot-10 even though most think he's really one or two inches smaller. New Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury once said Murray could be the No. 1 pick in the draft - before he was hired by the team with that pick, of course. Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who holds the No. 4 pick, has seemed to be openly drooling over him at times.
Beyond them, though, opinion seems split. Some scouts and executives are convinced Murray is a first-round talent. Others think his height makes him more of a second-rounder. But in a draft that is thin on top quarterback prospects - and with a quarterback group generally considered inferior to the 2018 class - all it takes is one team to fall in love with Murray.
And it absolutely helps the Giants if another quarterback is thrown into the first-round mix.
Right now, the general consensus is that the only quarterbacks worthy of a first-round pick are Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins, Missouri's Drew Lock and maybe Duke's Daniel Jones. But there are three teams in the Top 10 that could be looking for a quarterback - the Giants (at 6), the Jaguars (7) and the Broncos (10) - and a few others who could trade up for a quarterback like the Dolphins (13) and Redskins (15).
Since any team that wants a quarterback knows they probably have to trade above the Giants to guarantee they get their guy, the more first-round quarterbacks there are, the less of an urgency there'll be to move up. And if any of those other teams fall in love with Murray, they can feel safe that he'll still be there after the Giants pick.
Why? Because size matters to the Giants. They are still early in their evaluation process and obviously haven't seen Murray at the Combine or his Pro Day yet, but in general, a team source said he's "probably a little too small" for them. They prefer to stick to the established measurables they have for a prototypical quarterback.
Eli Manning is 6-foot-4. His predecessor, Kerry Collins, was 6-foot-5. Even the long list of quarterbacks before him - like Danny Kanell (6-foot-3), Kent Graham (6-foot-6) and Dave Brown (6-foot-5) - were taller than 6-foot-2. Phil Simms was even 6-foot-3.
In fact, the Giants haven't had a starting quarterback under six feet tall since the 5-foot-11 Gary Wood took over for Earl Morrall and went 0-6 during the 1966 season.
Obviously that was a long time ago, but the philosophy hasn't changed all that much. Remember a year ago when the Giants drafted quarterback Kyle Lauletta in the fourth round, head coach Pat Shurmur described the 6-foot-3 Richmond product as "tall enough" - which sure sounded like he wasn't willing to draft someone much shorter. In fact, last April, when talking about quarterbacks during a Giants minicamp, Shurmur admitted, "I fancy guys that are tall."
"You're trying to find sightlines," he said. "It's no different for a quarterback when he is behind a very tall offensive line. All else being equal, as long as all the skill sets are equal or maybe even a little better than equal, guys that can see have a chance to be very good."
Of course, the "skill sets" part of that answer does open the door a bit to an uber-talented, shorter quarterback like Murray. Then again, GM Dave Gettleman has often professed his preference for a quarterback who is strong in the pocket - and Murray, in part due to his height, is much better at throwing and making plays on the move.
The point is, a Murray-Giants marriage is unlikely. The 6-foot-3 Haskins, the 6-foot-4 Lock, or maybe even the 6-foot-5 Jones figure to be more to the Giants liking. But someone will fall in love with Murray over the next two-plus months. He'll surely light up his Pro Day and maybe even the Combine to the point that someone is willing to ignore his height.
And that'll be good for the Giants - especially if they decide they want to draft a quarterback -- because the competition for the top signal callers is always fiercer than expected.
The fewer teams that feel the need to trade up in the draft, the more likely it will be the Giants end up with their guy.