Photo Credits: JAMIE CHEN / AGGIE
Kyler Murray drafted number one overall, Doss goes undrafted
The NFL Draft took place from April 25 to 27 in Nashville, Ten., where 254 college players saw their dreams of becoming an NFL player come true. Usually, as the draft get closer, the public and sources around the team with the first pick have the number one pick essentially decided, but this year’s first pick was much more uncertain.
The Arizona Cardinals held the first overall pick in the draft after posting the league’s worst record last season at 3-13. After firing Head Coach Steve Wilkes after just one season at the position, the Cardinals hired former Texas Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury to try and reinvigorate the franchise with a new system and a new look. In October 2018 while still at Texas Tech, Kingsbury was asked a question about Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray prior to Tech’s matchup against the Sooners.
“I’d take him with the first pick in the draft if I could,” Kingsbury told Texas Tech communications staff. “I know he’s signed up to play baseball, but he’s a dominant football player. I would take him with the first pick.”
At the time, that statement was not given much national attention. Murray however, was making headlines as he would eventually go on to win the Heisman Trophy after throwing for 42 touchdowns and running for 1,000 yards on the season. Murray, who had been selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft, was thought to have originally planned to play one more year of college football and then return to playing baseball. But after his dominant season on the football field, Murray had many questioning whether or not he would enter the draft. On Jan. 14, Murray announced on Twitter that he would officially declare for the NFL Draft.
Almost immediately, scouts and experts questioned whether Murray could play in the NFL due to his height and small frame. In the NFL, it is rare to see a quarterback under six feet tall, let alone 5 foot 10 inches.
At the same time, Kingsbury’s comments about Murray were brought up once again after he was hired by the Cardinals, which began speculations of whether or not the Cardinals would draft the quarterback despite having taken a quarterback just a year earlier, when they selected Josh Rosen in the first round of the 2018 draft. Rosen struggled last season and it was hard to ignore the connection between Murray and Kingsbury, which dated back to when the quarterback was recruited by Kingsbury out of high school.
After months of rumors and uncertainty, the Cardinals did, in fact, choose Kyler Murray number one overall. The next day, they traded Josh Rosen to Miami for a second-round pick. While many doubted that it was going to happen, it was inevitable given the new coach and how well Murray fit the system Kingsbury likes to run. The pressure is now on for both Kingsbury and Murray to succeed.
Following Murray, the San Francisco 49ers selected defensive end Nick Bosa from Ohio State and the New York Jets selected defensive tackle Quinnen Williams from Alabama. The first surprise of the night came when the Oakland Raiders selected defensive end Clelin Ferrell from Clemson. While Ferrell was a projected first-round pick, a lot of experts believed that the Raiders reached for a player who was a mid-round talent at number four. With linebacker Josh Allen and defensive tackle Ed Oliver still on the board, the Raiders caught everybody by surprise.
Along with the fourth overall pick, the Raiders also held the 24th and 27th, which they used to select Alabama running back Josh Jacobs and Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram. Jacobs was regarded as the best running back available in a draft that was thin at that position, while Abram became the second safety drafted to come off the board. There was a tremendous amount of pressure on the Raiders to get these three picks right after trading two of their stars in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper last year, and there will be even more pressure on these players to make an immediate impact on the game.
The team that seems to have disappointed the most and a “loser” of the draft to many was the New York Giants. With the sixth overall selection, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was still available. The Giants were looking for a quarterback and Haskins was a lifelong fan of the team, so it seemed like a no brainer for G-men to take him.
Haskins ended up going to one of the Giants’ division rivals, the Washington Redskins, at number 15. Haskins will get two chances each season to make New York pay for not selecting him. For the Giants, they’ll have to find a way to compete under tough criticism from the media and fans after this draft and the trading of superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this offseason. Jones will likely be compared to Haskins for the rest of his career and be forced to live up to the high expectations of the New York fanbase.
While these and several other picks sparked controversy, the absence of one pick in particular disappointed many in the Aggie football fanbase. Former UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss went undrafted, despite being projected to be picked as high as the fourth round. Doss inexplicably fell completely off the board, but signed as a free agent with his hometown team, the Oakland Raiders. Although it wasn’t necessarily the way he wanted, Doss will now get a chance to officially make an NFL roster and show the league why he should have had his name called at the draft.
Written by: Omar Navarro — firstname.lastname@example.org