Byron Murphy sported his new No. 33 jersey at the first day of rookie minicamp on Friday – a number chosen as a reminder of where he was taken in the draft.
The Cardinals' rookie cornerback was disappointed he didn’t go in the first round, and coach Kliff Kingsbury was downright stunned.
Kingsbury felt like there was “no chance” Murphy would be available when the Cardinals were on the clock for their second choice. In Cardinals Flight Plan, General Manager Steve Keim revealed that Murphy was the fifth-highest rated player on the team’s draft board.
“I had some offensive players that I was eyeing with that pick at 33,” Kingsbury said. “When he was sitting there, we were all thrilled to death.”
The initial disappointment has clearly worn off for Murphy, who talked excitedly about hitting the field for the first time as an NFL player.
“In the locker room, right when I put (the jersey) on, I just looked down like, ‘This is crazy,’” Murphy said. “I’m blessed, and I’m ready to keep it going.”
Murphy said he played both outside and slot cornerback during the first practice, and his versatility should be a plus as a rookie. The Arizona native also has another duty on his plate right now: tour guide to his fellow newcomers.
“Everyone’s like, ‘I’ve got to get a haircut,’” said Murphy, who went to Tempe Marcos de Niza and Scottsdale Saguaro high schools. “I’m like, ‘I got you.’”
Murphy gave a positive review of his first day on the field, noting that “I made a couple plays, but I’ve got to make more.”
It’s something the Cardinals expect out of him after such a favorable evaluation, and Murphy is ready to prove them correct.
“I’ve got to come out here and back it up,” Murphy said. “If they believe in me, I’ve got to believe in myself and show them what I can do.”
PETERSON MIGHT NOT BE PRESENT FOR OTAS
Judging by a set of Instagram posts, Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson seemed upset at the organization for an unspecified reason in late April. Kingsbury was asked Friday if he expects Peterson to be present at voluntary organized team activities, which begin on May 20.
“I’m not sure about OTAs,” Kingsbury said. “Everything is voluntary. We know what Pat (brings on the field).”
NOTABLE TRYOUT PLAYERS
Arizona State long snapper Mitchell Fraboni, Northern Arizona defensive lineman Peli Anau and Phoenix College wide receiver Kayaune Ross were three players with local ties invited to rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.
A pair of Kingsbury’s former players at Texas Tech – wide receiver Ja’Deion High and safety Jah’shawn Johnson – were also brought in on a tryout basis. The Cardinals have 90 players on the roster and will need to cut someone if a tryout player performs well enough to secure a contract.
The Cardinals' rookie class get to Tempe for rookie minicamp.