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College Football

Did ulterior motive inspire Charley Casserly to bash Kyler Murray?

Charley Casserly raised some eyebrows this week over a stunningly uncompromising take on Kyler Murray, and the way in which the former NFL general manager criticized the top draft prospect has led to questions whether an ulterior motive possibly served as motivation.

Casserly, currently serving as an analyst for NFL Network, went scorched earth on how Murray fared at last week’s Scouting Combine, specifically concerning the former Sooners star quarterback’s purportedly terrible performance during interviews.

Casserly indicated Murray better hope he’s taken No. 1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals, as the feedback from the prospect’s interviews “were the worst comments I ever got on a high-rated quarterback and I’ve been doing this a long time.”

What’s interesting about Casserly’s comments, as the New York Post lays out, is how the analyst “stands to benefit from his own criticism.” The case being made regarding a potential ulterior motive inspiring the analyst’s critiques is how Casserly’s business interests conceivably compromise his objectivity.

[Casserly] works for EXOS, training players for these interviews. It’s one thing to be critical about a prospect — which Casserly was, relaying that teams gave him “the worst comments I ever got on a high-rated quarterback.” It’s another to get paid for preparing other prospects and then spreading flak of another who didn’t seek your expertise. It’s clearly a conflict of interest, especially if one of Casserly’s clients is a top quarterback.

There is obviously no way to no know for certain whether Casserly’s opinion of Murray was swayed to any degree by an ulterior motive, but the notion he is affiliated with a company that trains prospects for interviews arguably represents some semblance of a conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, reactions to Casserly’s bombshell have been a mixed bag, with Lincoln Riley, Murray’s coach at Oklahoma, not surprisingly defending his former player to an anonymous NFL coach somewhat confirming the veracity of the report.

Murray himself appeared to react to the incredibly unflattering characterization of his performance in interviews earlier this week, albeit in a creatively cryptic manner.