Arizona Cardinals make Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray the top pick in NFL draft

The Heisman Trophy winner, who chose football over baseball, could be a perfect fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
The Arizona Cardinals selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) with the first overall pick in the draft. [AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee]
The Arizona Cardinals selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) with the first overall pick in the draft. [AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee]
Published April 25

The Arizona Cardinals selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the NFL draft.

Just a year ago, the Cardinals used the 10th overall pick on Josh Rosen, hoping the former UCLA star would be their quarterback of the future.

Rosen had some ups and downs during his first season, as many rookies do, but did nothing to dissuade the Cardinals from believing he could be their guy for years to come.

Murray’s decision to play football, not baseball — where he was the ninth overall pick by the Oakland A’s — created a new option for an Arizona team with a new coach and a new offensive system.

Murray has a unique skillset, able to play in the pocket or beat teams with his legs, which could be a perfect match for coach Kliff Kingsbury’s dynamic offense.

Kingsbury ran an offense at Texas Tech that put up prodigious numbers and had two quarterbacks — Case Keenum and Patrick Mahomes — who led the nation in passing. With a strong arm and superb running ability, Murray has the tools to slide right into Kingsbury’s offense.

Murray becomes the 22nd Heisman Trophy winner to go first overall.

He also is the second straight Sooners quarterback to pull it off: Baker Mayfield went to Cleveland in 2018.

The Heisman hardly is a harbinger of success in the pros. But there have been enough players since Jay Berwanger managed the feat in the initial draft in 1935 to go first that it is not an unusual occurrence.

Indeed, in this century four players, all QBs, did it: The Bucs’ Jameis Winston in 2015, two years after taking the trophy; Carolina’s Cam Newton in 2011; the Rams’ Sam Bradford in 2010, also two years after he won the Heisman; and Carson Palmer in 2003.

The last non-quarterback to pull off the double was running back Bo Jackson in 1986, though he never reported to the Bucs.

Advertisement