Cardinals pick CB Byron Murphy with No. 33 pick of NFL Draft

Apr 26, 2019, 4:13 PM | Updated: 7:09 pm
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)...
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

After going with quarterback Kyler Murray in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals added a piece to their defense Friday night.

With the 33rd overall pick, the first of the second round, the Cardinals selected cornerback Byron Murphy out of Washington.

Murphy, who played Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, is the fourth defensive back taken in this year’s draft.

He joins fellow Saguaro products Christian Kirk and D.J. Foster on Arizona’s roster.

“Murphy’s got great skills, really natural anticipation and movement,” general manager Steve Keim said in a pre-draft press conference last Tuesday. “He’s really sudden in transition as a corner. He also has return ability … really passionate about the game and I think he’s going to be a heck of a player in the NFL.”

The Cardinals have two starting cornerbacks in Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford, but there could be a chance for Murphy to play in nickel packages. Budda Baker, who played inside last year, is expected to move to free safety.

David Amerson, Josh Shaw and Tramaine Brock are among the potential candidates who could also get a look at slot corner.

In two seasons (20 games) with the Washington Huskies, Murphy made 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.

The redshirt sophomore was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team, in addition to being crowned the Pac-12 Championship MVP for his performance in the team’s 10-3 win over Utah. Murphy scored the lone touchdown of the game, returning an interception 66 yards for the score.

At the NFL Combine, Murphy 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.

For Murphy, it’s a return to the Valley.

The DB spent his high school years at Saguaro High School, but showed his value as a wide receiver. Murphy earned All-American honors his senior year, catching 88 balls for 1,733 yards and 21 touchdowns.

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