NASHVILLE – Kyler Murray completed his unlikely transformation on Thursday night, evolving in less than a year, from a college backup, a baseball career to a No. 1 overall pick from the Heisman Trophy at N.F.L. draft and a possible franchise quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.
Murray was supposed to play baseball for the Oakland Athletics, who chose him with the ninth pick of Major League Baseball's draft last year and promised him a signing bonus of more than $ 4 million. But after his success in his last year in Oklahoma, Murray fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming the first choice at N.F.L. Draft, virtually securing itself a four-year novice contract that will have a value of approximately eight times the A's money.
"It's surreal," Murray said Thursday, dressed in a three-piece pink suit, inspired, he said, in the 2013 movie "The Great Gatsby."
The[[Read our selection analysis by selection of the first round of the N.F.L. draft.]
Murray became the second consecutive quarterback of Sooners winner of Heisman to be selected first. The Cleveland Browns took Baker Mayfield to the top of last year's draft.
After Murray's selection came a series of defenders: the San Francisco 49ers chose Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa at No. 2; the Jets took Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams at No. 3; the Oakland Raiders took Clemson defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell at No. 4; and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Louisiana State linebacker Devin White at No. 5.
The only big surprise was Ferrell, who had been projected to go lower. The Raiders do need the power of the stars at the front, since they had traded Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears at the start of last season, but they were expected to select Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen, who instead fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 7.
At number 6, the Giants took the second draft quarterback, Daniel Jones of Duke. Like his current quarterback, Eli Manning, Jones benefited from the tutelage of David Cutcliffe, the Duke coach who coached Manning in Mississippi (as well as the quarterbacks coach of Manning's brother, Peyton, in Tennessee). The Giants also selected Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence at No. 17, and changed their second-round selection and two subsequent Seahawks picks for No. 30, which they used at Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker.
The third field marshal selected was Dwayne Haskins, a finalist for Heisman in the state of Ohio. It was at number 15 to the Washington Redskins.
The theme of the first round, which will be followed by six more Fridays and Saturdays, was a race towards the defensive linemen: Eight were among the first 20 selections.
Among the quarterbacks, it is likely that a more recent first round will end soon in the market: Josh Rosen, the U.C.L.A. Product that was taken tenth over all last year by Arizona. On Thursday, the Cardinals became the first franchise to select quarterbacks in the first round in successive years since 1983, when the Baltimore Colts took John Elway at No. 1 (against their wishes, and before changing it). to the Denver Broncos) a year later. selecting Art Schlichter in No. 4.
It would be very unorthodox, and probably illogical, to keep Murray and Rosen on the same list. Instead, the Cardinals will likely look to switch Rosen, a classic 6-foot-4 dropout who started most of Arizona's games last season, to a team with an established and greater starter.
With the Cardinals, Murray will work with first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who at Texas Tech played quarterback and trained on the same team. Air Raid offensive system in which Murray prospered in Oklahoma.
Referring to his hiring at the university, when Texas Tech made him an offer, Murray reflected on "finally being able to play for coach Kingsbury" and said: "It's something we've been talking about for a long time."
"I do not like to call it the 'Air Raid'," he said about the happy pass scheme. "It's just the offense, I'll say it's explosive, we like to score points."
Murray is shorter than the prototypical quarterback in 5-10 (plus another eighth of an inch, according to a measure in the N.F.L combine last month). Most of the franchise quarterbacks sit comfortably north of 6 feet. However, he is more mobile than the classic quarterbacks, like Tom Brady, and he plays for the position as the honored Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who was the star of last season.
Shorter quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have thrived. So they have the less conventional ones (Cam Newton, Dak Prescott) and those that operated in seemingly unsafe for the N.F.L. offenses in the university: Mahomes played for Kingsbury in Texas Tech.
The election of the Cardinals meant that four of the last five No. 1 teams have been field marshals, and 8 of the last 11, as well as 16 of the last 22.
Bosa is the younger brother of Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa, the third overall pick in 2016, and the son of John Bosa, another defensive lineman, who played for the Miami Dolphins in the late 1980s.
At a press conference on Thursday night, Nick Bosa addressed several controversial tweets he had admitted to eliminate recently, including one that called Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who knelt during the national anthem to protest against racism and police brutality, a "clown".
"I've learned from it," he said. I was insensitive in some of the things I was saying. "
He added: "I think my teammates will learn what kind of person I am once I enter the locker room."
The first round included two members of Michigan's leading defense: linebacker Devin Bush, who ranked 10th for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and defensive lineman Rashan Gary, a Paramus High graduate in New Jersey, whom the Green Bay Packers They selected at number 12. Three Clemson defensive linemen were selected, including Christian Wilkins at No. 13 by the Miami Dolphins. In a rarity, two Iowa tight ends were collected in the first round: T.J. Hockenson, at No. 8 by the Detroit Lions; and Noah Fant, at number 20 of the Broncos.
A crowd braved the rain on the downtown strip of Nashville, famous for the neon lights of music clubs. The boulevard led to a covered stage just across the Cumberland River from the Nissan Titans Stadium. The downpour did not stop the fans' desire to join all the others N.F.L. He recruited the crowd at Commissioner Roger Goodell as he approached the podium to announce each election.