Gambo 3: Murphy, Brown, Ford all possibilities at No. 33 for Cardinals
Apr 26, 2019, 8:04 AM | Updated: 10:31 am
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books.
But like Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals hold the first pick in the upcoming second round, picking 33rd.
Although the team won’t have the chance to draft Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro has three names to keep an eye on as the start of the second round approaches.
One name on the list, however, has some similar connections to Harry in the desert.
BYRON MURPHY, Washington DB
The first name on the list may be a familiar one to those in the Valley.
Not only did Byron Murphy spend his high school days at Saguaro High School, the defensive back went on to the play in the Pac-12 as a member of the Washington Huskies.
In two seasons (20 games) with the Huskies, Murphy compiled 50 tackles, 7.0 of which were for loss, six interceptions, returning one for a score, and 20 knocked down passes. He also recorded a sack and two forced fumbles.
For his efforts last season as a redshirt sophomore, Murphy was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and was named the Pac-12 Championship MVP.
Murphy’s ball skills are highlighted by ESPN.
Murphy has the balance, recognition skills and athletic ability to develop above-average cover skills. He’s a ball hawk who reads the quarterback, he isn’t afraid to come off his assignment to play the ball, and he might have the best ball skills of any defensive back in the country. He’s a physical player who flashes the ability to lower the boom on the ball carrier.
In the NFL Combine, the DB ran a 4.55 40-yard dash time, had 14 reps on the bench press and had a 36.5-inch vertical and 120.0-inch broad jump.
CODY FORD, Oklahoma OT
After nabbing Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick, the Cardinals could be adding a familiar face to the fray in offensive tackle Cody Ford.
The junior tackle heads to the next level after being named as a first-team All-Big 12 selection for the Sooners. As a team, Oklahoma was recognized as having the best offensive line in college football, winning the Joe Moore Award.
Ford, who made the switch from left guard to right tackle with Murray under center last season, could bring some versatility to a Cardinals offensive line that struggled with injury last season. As a team, Arizona finished dead last in Pro Football Focus’ team pass-blocking grade last year.
“He’s fantastic in pass [protection], but what this guy can do in the run game is just amazing, the kind of movement he can get from the tackle position is really rare,” Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday. “One of the big keys to our success has been able to throw the ball with Kyler and Baker [Mayfield] the last years, but we’ve been so good running the football.
“Kliff [Kingsbury’s] going to want to do that as well and I think Cody would be a great match, and obviously would get a chance to pair him up with Kyler and that’s two pretty good building blocks for your future offense there if you’re a Cardinals fan.”
A.J. BROWN, Ole Miss WR
There’s no doubt the Cardinals could use another wideout on the team.
One name that stands out is Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown.
Spending three seasons with Ole Miss (34 games), Brown caught 189 receptions for 2,984 yards and 19 touchdowns.
As a junior last season, Brown showcased what he can bring to a team.
Landing at No. 7 in NCAA for wide receivers, Brown reeled in 85 balls for 1,320 yards and six scores.
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