Heisman winner Murray taken first in NFL draft - GulfToday

Heisman winner Murray taken first in NFL draft

Kyler Murray 750

Kyler Murray is selected as the number one overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Reuters

The Arizona Cardinals made reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray the number one selection in the 2019 National Football League entry draft on Friday.

Murray became the first player in history to be a first-round pick in both the Major League Baseball and NFL drafts, after the Oakland Athletics picked him ninth overall in 2018.

He agreed to pay back his $4.7 million signing bonus to the A’s when announcing in February that he would be committed to football full-time moving forward.

“It has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Murray of being drafted to the NFL. “To everyone in my corner that has pushed me, I can’t thank them enough.

“I can’t wait to get out there. It has been a long time coming.”

Defensive end Nick Bosa (Ohio State) was taken second by the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets filled a need for a defensive tackle by choosing Alabama’s Quinnen Williams third overall.

The Cardinals are hoping that Murray could start immediately but complicating matters is that the Cardinals 2018 first round pick was also a quarterback, Josh Rosen.

Now that Arizona has officially landed Murray, some believe that Rosen, their starting quarterback in 2018, is on the trading block.

Murray, a versatile player who passed for 42 touchdowns and ran for 12 more last season, leads a 2019 rookie class that is deep in talent. He also threw seven interceptions.

There is some concern about Murray’s height because at five-foot-10, he is considered small by today’s quarterback standards.

But Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and Doug Flutie, who starred for two decades in the NFL and CFL, are both under six feet and their height was never a liability.

After former teammate and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield went first overall last year to the Cleveland Browns, Murray’s selection marks the first time since 1968-69 that the top pick in back-to-back years came from the same school (offensive tackle Ron Yary in 1968, running back O.J. Simpson in 1969, Southern California).

Bosa is following in the footsteps of his father John and brother Joey, who were also previous first-round draft picks.

Bosa wound up going one pick higher than his brother, Joey, whom the San Diego Chargers took third overall in 2016.

Their father, John, was also a first-round defensive end, taken 16th overall by the Miami Dolphins in 1987. An uncle was also a defensive end drafted 16th overall by Miami in 1988.

While quarterbacks generally get all the attention at the draft, Williams is part of a strong defensive corps of players that is expected to define this year’s draft.

The fourth pick delivered the first major surprise, with the Oakland Raiders selecting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell.

Tampa Bay followed at No. 5 by taking LSU linebacker Devin White.

Agence France-Presse

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...

The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.

Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

22 hours ago