Pinpointing the easiest questions posed to Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown was not difficult.
Murray was in the Arizona Cardinals equipment room when asked this: “First and foremost, let’s start with a number. What do you want?”
“Number one,” the former Oklahoma quarterback answered.
Brown was at a podium answering questions by Baltimore media during an introductory news conference.
Does the new Baltimore Ravens wide receiver want to go by Marquise or Hollywood?
“Hollywood,” Brown said, cracking a wide grin.
The Oklahoma players met their respective media during Friday news conferences held simultaneously.
Murray, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, was the top overall selection in the 2019 NFL draft. Brown was selected No. 25 during the first round.
The draft continued with the second- and third-round selections on Friday night and will wrap up with the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday.
Oklahoma had multiple first-round draft picks for the first time since 2010, when four Sooners were snatched in the opening round.
OU also matched all of its first-round draft picks over the previous seven drafts. Only Lane Johnson (2013) and Baker Mayfield (2017) were taken on opening day.
Oklahoma now has five players selected as the NFL draft’s top overall selection, which matches USC and Notre Dame as the most by one college program. OU has been represented by Murray (2019), Mayfield (2018), Sam Bradford (2010), Billy Sims (1980) and Lee Roy Selmon (1976).
Choosing Murray with the first selection appeared to be a no-brainer.
“I’ve been doing this for over 20 years,” Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said. “I’ve seen guys who have thrown it like him. I’ve seen guys who can run it like him. But I can tell you that I haven’t seen anybody that can do the combination that he brings to the table.”
“We’re extremely excited about Kyler,” Keim continued. “He’s a fantastic player. He’s dynamic. Again, in the end, our goal was to take the player that would improve this organization and give us the biggest chance to succeed moving forward.
“That was Kyler Murray.”
Murray is the only player to be selected in the first round of both the Major League Baseball and NFL drafts.
“I just thank God for the ability that allowed me to play both games at a high level,” Murray said. “My parents pushing me every day, teammates and coaches. I don’t think that’ll soak in until later down the line.”
What does he expect about the process of becoming a No. 1 pick who can potentially turning the franchise around?
“As a kid, that’s what you dream of — going to an organization and being that guy turning the organization around and winning Super Bowls,” Murray said. “Like I said, I don’t shy away from hard work. I’m not here to lose games or go through the motions. I’m here to change things up. I’m ready to go and I can’t wait.”
While Murray will be reunited with Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury, Brown also will see familiar faces in Baltimore. His former OU teammates Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews just completed their rookie seasons with the Ravens.
“Orlando is someone who helped me when I first got to Oklahoma,” Brown said. “For him to be here, he’s like a big brother.”
Following Thursday’s announcement, Brown broke down during a televised interview.
“It was pretty crazy,” Brown said while flashing a grin. “I told myself I’m not going to cry. I don’t how that happened, but yet, it’s a testament to everything I’ve been through.”
Brown also drew praise from his cousin Antonio Brown, an Oakland Raiders wide receiver.
“We’re pretty close. He just congratulated me and told me this is a great place to be,” Marquise Brown said. “He said I would love it and enjoy the moment and to be ready to work.”
Cody Ford didn’t get selected in the first round, but Oklahoma’s talented offensive lineman did learn where his NFL journey will begin on Friday night.
Ford was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the sixth pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Ford has an outstanding career for the Sooners, which included a shift from offensive guard to tackle during his senior year. He’s the first of four OU offensive linemen expected to be drafted this weekend, joining Bobby Evans, Ben Powers and Dru Samia.
Ford was among four Oklahoma players who declared early for the NFL Draft. He was a two-year starter for Oklahoma after suffering a season-ending injury three games into his redshirt freshman season.
“I’m thrilled for Cody. He had to overcome a ton here at OU with the really bad injury against Ohio State in his first year and then moving positions,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “He’s one of the nastiest offensive linemen I’ve ever coached, and I think he was probably the most dominant tackle in the country last year. Seeing him now as a high draft pick is amazing. His best ball is in front of him.”
Bobby Evans became OU’s second offensive lineman to be selected on Friday night.
Evans was picked in the third round by the Los Angeles Rams with the 97th overall pick. The Rams moved up four spots to get Evans.
Evans was a teammate of Murray at Allen (Texas) High School. He chose for early entry into the NFL Draft with Ford and the decision paid off for both.
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