Byron Murphy, one of the most dynamic cornerbacks in Husky history, became the second University of Washington player selected in the 2019 NFL draft on Friday when the Cardinals chose him with the first pick in the second round (No. 33 overall).
Murphy, from Scottsdale, Ariz., gets to stay home in Arizona, where he will reunite with former Washington teammates Budda Baker and Ezekiel Turner in the Cardinals’ secondary.
Murphy is the sixth defensive back from UW drafted since 2013 — and that list doesn’t include Turner, who made the Arizona roster last year after signing as an undrafted free agent. Three more UW defensive backs — Taylor Rapp, Jordan Miller and JoJo McIntosh — could be drafted this weekend.
Murphy was an Associated Press second-team All-American in 2018 and a first-team all-Pac-12 selection. He was the MVP of the Pac-12 championship game after he returned an interception 66 yards for the only touchdown of the game, helping the Huskies to a 10-3 victory over Utah.
After a redshirt season in 2016, Murphy had two interceptions in his UW debut at Rutgers to open the 2017 season. He appeared in 20 games for the Huskies over the past two seasons, finishing his career with 74 tackles, seven interceptions, 27 pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He missed six games in 2017 because of a broken foot.
Murphy departed UW with two seasons of eligibility remaining. As a third-year sophomore, he was eligible to enter the 2019 draft.