Cardinals draft Murray with No. 1 overall pick

Field Level Media

April 26, 2019 at 12:25 am.

The Arizona Cardinals made Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn.

The long-rumored marriage, first hinted at with the hiring of head coach Kliff Kingsbury in January, finally came true after various reports of uncertainty swirled in recent days, with the Cardinals insisting a decision was not yet final.

Kingsbury — who recruited Murray, then a high school prospect, to Texas A&M — famously said in an October interview, while still head coach at Texas Tech, that he “would take (Murray) with the first pick of the draft if I could.”

Murray’s selection is historic in a number of ways.

He is the first person ever to be a first-round pick in both the Major League Baseball and NFL drafts, after the Oakland Athletics drafted him ninth overall last summer. Murray pledged to pay back his $4.66 million signing bonus to the A’s when announcing in February that he would be committed to football full-time moving forward.

“I pride myself on being different, doing different things,” Murray said from the red carpet before the draft, referring to the expected two-sport milestone. “Obviously it’s a testament to God blessing me with the ability to play (both) games. That’s why I’m here.”

At 5-foot-10 1/8, Murray is the first quarterback under 6 feet tall to be taken in the first round since Johnny Manziel in 2014, and the shortest taken before Round 3 since at least 1985.

Murray threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns with seven interceptions last year while leading Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff. He also rushed for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.

After former teammate and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield went first overall last year to the Cleveland Browns, Murray’s selection marks the first time since 1968-69 that the top pick in back-to-back years came from the same school (offensive tackle Ron Yary in 1968, running back O.J. Simpson in 1969, Southern California).

“I talk to Bake a lot,” Murray said of Mayfield. “He’s a close friend of mine. Getting advice from him has definitely been helpful.”

Meanwhile, the Cardinals, having traded up to No. 10 overall to take Josh Rosen last year, are the first team to take first-round quarterbacks in back-to-back years since 1982-83, when the Baltimore Colts took Art Schlichter fourth overall in 1982 and John Elway first overall in 1983.

With Murray on board, Rosen is expected to be on the trade block, but ESPN reported earlier Thursday that the Cardinals won’t rush a deal. According to the report, a trade on Friday could be more likely than on Thursday, with the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers the most likely suitors.