Happy NFL Draft Eve, friends and fans!
Before the Oklahoma Sooners pro family grows with the commencement of the 2020 NFL Draft, take an inside look back to a year ago when Kyler Murray was selected with the No. 1 overall pick. In this bonus mini-episode of Flight Plan, you can check out the moments leading up to that historic decision from the Arizona Cardinals’ perspective.
Fast-forward 10 months later, and the somewhat daring move seems to have paid off in spades for both ‘K1’ and the Cards. Once upon a time it looked like Murray was destined for the baseball diamond, but he took a chance on himself and pursued the NFL. Arizona took a chance of their own by trusting their evaluation and not dwelling on archaic standards of how a franchise QB is supposed to be. Winning the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award isn’t a bad way to start what figures to be a long and prosperous career.
Tomorrow the fun begins all over again for hundreds of rookie hopefuls. Coverage of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, Apr. 23 at 7 p.m. CT and can be seen live on ABC, ESPN and the NFL Network.
Now onto today’s Hot Links! We’ve got Sooner draft profiles for your consumption, Lon Kruger has his next Big East Battle opponent lined up, and more!
- He’s faster than a locomotive, hits harder than a wrecking ball, and is one of the baddest men on the football field. At the same time, he’s also one of the most upstanding individuals in the entire class. Kamiar Mehrabian has you covered on everything you need to know about LB Kenneth Murray and his NFL Draft outlook.
- He’s a winner who’s worn two shades of crimson over the course of his collegiate career, and he’s not about that rat poison. Check out my NFL Draft profile of Jalen Hurts and his incredible story of selflessness and redemption.
- He wasn’t invited to the combine, but his tape doesn’t lie. Whichever NFL team takes a chance on CB Parnell Motley is going to get a steal wherever a possible pick lands, and Allen Kenney has an idea of when P-Mot might hear his name called this weekend if it does happen. Note: We’ll also post profiles for CeeDee Lamb and Neville Gallimore shortly.
- The Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey took a look back at Sooners who declared early for the NFL over the last five years to determine if the decision has proven fruitful or otherwise. This time around both CeeDee Lamb and ‘K9’ are Oklahoma’s early declarations, and both are projecting to land somewhere within the first round.
- Officially, Oklahoma men’s basketball will be traveling to Cincinnati to take on Xavier this fall as part of the annual Big 12-Big East Battle. The Sooners are 2-0 against the Musketeers all-time, with the last meeting coming in the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
Sources: Matchups for the 2020 Big East-Big 12 Battle are set.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 22, 2020
Villanova at Texas
Creighton at Kansas
Baylor at Seton Hall
Providence at TCU
St. John’s at Texas Tech
Oklahoma at Xavier
West Virginia at Georgetown
Oklahoma St at Marquette
DePaul at Iowa St
Kansas St at Butler
- According to the latest odds from BetMGM, early lines for six of the Sooners’ games have Oklahoma as the favorite. Sooners Wire’s Kegan Reneau has more.
Around the Sports World
- In one of the more notable moves of the NFL offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have acquired former New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, reuniting him with teammate Tom Brady. Now I really don’t want to miss football season.
- In a recent interview on NFL Network, Hall of Famer Deion Sanders said he likes Tua Tagovailoa over Joe Burrow when it comes to the top QB in this year’s draft class. It’s an unpopular opinion, but he actually makes a decent point.
- Formerly retired NFL WR Percy Harvin says he’s ready to pursue playing in the league again after not having played in the last three seasons. The soon-to-be 32-year-old was last with the Buffalo Bills, where he played two games in 2016.
- Boise State University has furloughed all employees set to make more than $40K in 2020, including the majority of its football coaching staff, due to the financial losses the school has taken during the coronavirus pandemic.
Follow Crimson & Cream Machine on Twitter!