The Arizona Cardinals did as expected on Thursday night, taking Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn.
Murray, a two-sport star taken No. 9 in last summer’s MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, figures to helm the offense of new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, who promised to run a high-powered, Big-12 style offense when he took the job in January.
This the second straight year the Cardinals drafted a quarterback in the first round, the franchise’s previous regime taking UCLA’s Josh Rosen with the 10th pick last season. It’s also the second straight year the reigning Heisman winner went No. 1 overall, following Cleveland’s pick of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield last year.
The success of both Mayfield and NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, now with Kansas City after playing for Kingsbury at Texas Tech, likely mitigated some of the concern about the 5-foot-10⅛ Murray at the pro level.