Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz went from an undrafted player to a Super Bowl champion in the span of two years.
So it’s fair to say that the salsa-dancing superstar knows a thing or two about late-round or undrafted talent making a splash in the NFL. This year, the recently retired Cruz has his eye specifically on one 2019 second-rounder, who went 62nd overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
“His name is Andy Isabella,” Cruz told AOL.com on behalf of DSW. “He’s a player, man.”
Isabella first caught Cruz’s attention while playing college football at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where Cruz also played. In his senior year, Isabella averaged nearly 17 yards per reception and scored 13 touchdowns en route to being named to the 2018 College Football All-America Team. His 141.5 receiving yards per game last year led the country.
The mountains in Scottsdale, Ariz. weren’t doing N’Keal Harry any favors during the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.
Harry, a wide receiver out of Arizona State, was selected 32nd overall by the New England Patriots – but when the time came to speak with Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, his phone stopped working.
“We couldn’t get them on the line,” Harry said. “One of my agents actually had to reach out.”
Cell service aside, it was a life-changing evening for Harry, who finally did get in touch with the powers that be up in New England.
Marquise Brown’s life changed the instant he was selected 25th overall in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft.
The newest Baltimore Ravens wide receiver wasn’t about to let that moment pass him by. Brown, nicknamed “Hollywood,” was overcome with emotion while discussing his selection with NFL legend Deion Sanders.
“I’m just happy to be here,” he said as tears filled his eyes. “It means so much.”
The former Oklahoma Sooner wasn’t entirely unprepared for the intensity and excitement of the evening. His cousin, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, gave Hollywood a simple piece of advice before the draft: “Just enjoy this moment.”
In 2016, Nick Bosa watched as his older brother and Ohio State teammate, Joey, was picked third overall in the NFL draft by the then-San Diego Chargers.
Three years later, it was Nick’s turn to hear his name called.
The younger Bosa brother was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL draft on Thursday night. Had it not been for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray also being in the draft, Bosa would have had a real chance at being selected first overall.
The success of the Bosa brothers is no accident. Their father, John, also played a brief stint in the NFL after being selected in the first round of the 1987 draft out of Boston College. While plenty of hard work and dedication goes into becoming a successful athlete, Nick says his family’s success is largely due to “good genes.”
Thirty-two dreams came true Thursday night during the first round of the NFL draft — but the 2019 picks had extremely varied reactions after hearing their names called by commissioner Roger Goodell.
Some calmly approached the stage, some went for an ill-timed chest bump, and others – like Rashan Gary – simply couldn’t control their emotions.
Gary, a defensive end from Michigan, was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 12 pick of the night. The former Wolverine wasn’t present at the draft in Nashville, instead choosing to watch the evening unfold from Ann Arbor with family members and friends.
When he received the call that he had been drafted by the Packers, Gary immediately burst into tears. He could be heard thanking the Green Bay executive on the other end of the line before picking up a Packers hat, prompting a round of loud cheers from his loved ones.
The 2019 NFL draft is fast approaching. With names like Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa and Josh Allen available, it seems likely we already know how the first few selections of the first round will go on April 25.
But what about the rest of the picks?
A top-heavy draft class doesn’t mean some diamonds in the rough won’t be found further down in the draft. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, selected No. 199 overall in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft, is evidence of that — and this year, the Patriots may draft his heir apparent.
The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner has declared for the NFL draft.
That shouldn’t be a surprising statement, but Kyler Murray isn’t your average prospect. The former Oklahoma quarterback is a two-sport superstar who was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland A’s in last year’s MLB draft, but chose instead to follow his football dreams. He officially declared for the 2019 NFL draft on Monday.
So which quarterback-needy team will swoop in to draft the phenom?