ARIZONA CARDINALS

Keim: QB Kyler Murray ‘loves’ Cardinals drafting Zaven Collins

Apr 30, 2021, 10:11 AM

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoF...

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Kyler Murray can wish he played with his former college teammates in the pros while also vouching for the Arizona Cardinals’ latest draft pick.

Can’t he?

A year ago, the quarterback nudged Cardinals general manager Steve Keim to draft his former Oklahoma Sooners teammate and receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the NFL Draft. Arizona took Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons instead.

Keim has since openly welcomed his quarterback’s input, and the GM took it into account this year.

Arizona on Thursday selected Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins 16th overall after the consensus top-three receivers were scooped up through the first 10 picks.

Murray, according to Keim, did put his stamp of approval on Collins.

“I love talking to Kyler about players because he’s so passionate, again, which mean he’s invested in the organization and our long-term success,” Keim told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Friday.

“The good news is is he loves Zaven Collins. … Fortunately for us, Kyler worked out at the same facility this offseason as Zaven Collins and raved about his passion and his work ethic and his attention to detail. So Kyler was extremely high on him and obviously that added to the pieces of the puzzle — that we had another guy who was around (Collins) when coaches weren’t around and saw the way he worked.”

Murray was clearly watching the first round of the draft intently on Thursday.

He noticed during that young quarterbacks were being paired up with their former college weapons.

LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase teamed with former Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow as the Cincinnati Bengals selected him fifth overall.

Wideout Jaylen Waddle reunited with fellow Alabama product Tua Tagovailoa with the Miami Dolphins, who picked him sixth.

First overall pick Trevor Lawrence later on Thursday was followed to the Jacksonville Jaguars by a fellow Clemson product, running back Travis Etienne.

Murray was noticing what a lot of people were. But the tweet could have been viewed as venting in the moment — especially because it was paired with Murray’s recent comments on Good Morning Football that he’d like a say in Arizona’s draft decisions.

“I do believe I think I have an influence in it,” Murray said earlier in the week. “I don’t know why I wouldn’t. If you’ve got a guy at quarterback and you trust him and you want to be the face of the franchise for a lot of years, I think he should have an influence, just because everything is built around the quarterback.”

It didn’t help Murray liked a reply to his initial tweet regarding Arizona’s non-selection of Lamb a year ago.

It was helpful, though, that Murray also used Twitter to welcome Collins to the Cardinals.

And that Keim said the quarterback signed off on Arizona’s decision to take another defensive player with its first-round pick.

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