When I wasn’t covering playoff baseball late last week, I was watching my second-favorite sporting event of the year, the NFL Draft. Seven rounds and 254 total selections came and went during the three-day spectacle, and as with every year, there were storylines abound. Here’s a few that caught my eye.
Arizona takes Murray first overall
The Cardinals drafted quarterback Josh Rosen 10th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, but that didn’t stop them from taking another signal-caller, Kyler Murray, 1st overall this year. Per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, it’s only the third time in the last 50 years that a team has picked a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back years.
At the time, drafting Rosen was a no-brainer, and the same can be said for Murray, especially with a QB guru like Kliff Kingsbury now calling the shots. Two days after Thursday’s first round, Kingsbury’s Cardinals traded Rosen to Miami, so it’s crystal clear that Murray is Arizona’s future under center.
FYI, Murray, who is listed at 5-foot-10, is the first quarterback under six-feet tall to ever be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in arm strength and athleticism. This was a great pick for the Cardinals.
Giants get their quarterback
Well Giants fans, you got your wish. Kinda.
It’s clear to see Eli Manning’s best days are behind him. And when I say behind him, I mean he’s a below average quarterback now. To be fair, though, he’s hovered around average most of his career. At some point, you gotta start the process of moving on, and the Giants did that on Thursday by selecting Duke’s Daniel Jones sixth overall.
Even if Jones turns out to be really good, this was still a mind-boggling pick. A three-year starter for the Blue Devils, Jones was average at Duke. Yeah, I get that he’s 6-foot-5 and 221 pounds, and that he’s got connections with the Manning family having played for David Cutcliffe, who coached Peyton and Eli at Tennessee and Ole Miss, respectively. But this was the textbook definition of a draft reach. Not only could the Giants have drafted Jones with their 16th pick, they probably could’ve got him in the second round.
They also passed up on Dwayne Haskins, who, in one season as a starter at Ohio State, passed for 50 touchdowns and led the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl win.
It’s a bold strategy, so let’s see if it pays off for them.
Metcalf falls to the second round
DK Metcalf set social media ablaze with his NFL Combine performance in March. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds, the former Ole Miss wide receiver put up 27 reps on the bench press and ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash. Many thought the showing made Metcalf a lock for the first round and maybe the top ten, but surprisingly, he was selected with the final pick of the second round by the Seattle Seahawks.
For many front offices, Metcalf’s injury history in college probably overshadowed the combine, but credit to the Seahawks for rolling the dice and picking up what I believe to be a steal.
Petal’s Patterson selected, other former area stars sign
Former Petal Panther Javon Patterson was picked in Saturday’s seventh round by the Indianapolis Colts. The interior offensive lineman was the only area player who heard his name called, but several others signed as undrafted free agents, including Hattiesburg’s Rishard Cook (Colts), Oak Grove’s Picasso Nelson Jr. (Jaguars) and Logan Scott (Falcons), and Collins’ Mark McLaurin (Giants).