The Sports Report: Arizona makes Kyler Murray the top pick in NFL draft

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray walks the red carpet ahead of the first round at the NFL football
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray walks the red carpet ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft.
(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Hello, one and all, my name is John Cherwa, and I’m guest-hosting this here newsletter for a couple of weeks while Houston Mitchell studies up for his Arizona real estate license so he can get the Josh Rosen listing.

NFL draft

In an exercise that seems like a longer wait than a trip to the DMV office, the NFL draft got underway in the first of three mind-numbing days where some poor kids sit on the couch waiting for a phone to ring, usually way later than they ever thought.

In Nashville, where the draft is this year, you get to see commissioner Roger Goodell pretend to be happy greeting first-round picks who happen to be there. Now, it’s the last we’ll see of Goodell as he (and Adam Silver of the NBA) go underground after the first round. Don’t really know about Gary Bettman of the NHL because that would require us to watch the NHL draft. (Although the Kings have a high pick.)


Now, the NFL draft is a private venture but made available for the public to see, unlike the alleged tape of Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a South Florida massage parlor, which is seemingly a public document that a judge has made private.

Make no mistake, if given a choice between watching the 15-30 seconds (just guessing) of the alleged Kraft tape or watching an hour of Hoda Kotb hugging and telling Olympic athletes how much she loves them, I’d pick Hoda, and whoever thought I would ever say that.

So, let’s check in with the experts, especially Sam Farmer to see what he gleamed from the draft.

“It was a night of history and heartache.


“The Arizona Cardinals ran an agonizing quarterback keeper Thursday, making Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray the first pick in the NFL draft, yet hanging on to former UCLA standout Josh Rosen, the passer they selected 10th overall a year earlier.

“After the opening round of the first draft in Music City, could anyone blame Rosen if he were to belt out the words to a country classic?

“Please release me, let me go …

“But the Cardinals held on for the moment, with new coach Kliff Kingsbury selecting a quarterback he had tracked and recruited since Murray went 42-0 as a starter at Allen (Texas) High School.

“’Cannot wait,’ said Murray, the first player chosen in the opening rounds of both the NFL and Major League Baseball drafts. ‘Me and [Kingsbury] have had a relationship since I was like 15 years old … this is something we’ve talked about for a long time. It’s been a long time coming, but God works in mysterious ways.

“’For me to be playing for him now, it’s a surreal feeling.’

“Murray was the first of three quarterbacks to go in the opening round. The New York Giants took Duke’s Daniel Jones sixth, and the Washington Redskins used the 15th pick on Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins.”

In addition:


-- Rams trade out of the first round of the NFL draft..

-- Chargers take Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery with 28th pick in NFL draft.


Here we go, the Clippers on the brink of elimination, yet again, play Golden State, but this time at home, where they haven’t won a playoff game.

Being a Clippers fan in the playoffs is like standing in line for a ticket to a soon-to-be sold-out concert, knowing, by your count, that you may be one or two past the limit of getting a ticket, or, just maybe, you’ll be able to slip in. But you still have hope.

Every bit of logic comes up with the same answer, the Warriors are the bouncer in this season. The Warriors lead 3-2. How could they lose four games in a series of seven to the Clippers?

Our own Andrew Greif has been along for almost all of this Clippers ride, and these are some tidbits he picked up in his reporting in his story setting up Game 6. (The comments may seem like they are mine, but they are really what you were thinking. Didn’t know we could read minds, did you?)

--“We just see it as one win,” rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said after Game 5. “We still need to get two more, so we’re not overly excited about this one.”


(C’mon, seeing it like one win is like thinking there is only one “NCIS” show or CW has only one superhero show.)

--“I thought we were going to come out and win tonight,” Klay Thompson said. “Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned.”

(Yeah, like getting to LAX late and thinking you’ll just sail through security, especially with that new bin system that seemed really cool at the start until it had to handle volume.)

--“Even with my girlfriend, she’s not even talking about vacation,” said Danilo Gallinari. “That’s out of the window. She knows that we got a job to do.”

(Danilo, first relationship? Check the suitcases in the closet.)

--“We still got work to do,” Patrick Beverley said. “We feel like we can play with the best of them, and we proved it.”

(The jury’s out. We’ll find out soon enough.)

Clippers 2019 playoff schedule

All times Pacific

Game 1: Warriors 121, Clippers 104

Game 2: Clippers 135, Warriors 131

Game 3: Warriors 132, Clippers 105

Game 4: Warriors 113, Clippers 105

Game 5: Clippers 129, Warriors 121

Tonight, at Clippers, 7 ESPN

*Sunday, April 28, at Golden State, 12:30 p.m. TBA

* if necessary.

Thursday’s NBA playoff scores

San Antonio 120, Denver 103 (Series tied 3-3)

Today’s schedule

(All times Pacific)

Golden State at Clippers, 7 p.m. ESPN (Warriors lead series, 3-2)


We know it’s only one of 162 games and it’s April for goodness sake, but we like to reward baseball when it plays a game that doesn’t end at 11 p.m. or midnight.

Excerpts from one of Jorge Castillo’s stories from the series with the Cubs. Or, as Ernie Banks used to say: “Let’s write two.”

Dave Roberts said he has made sure to communicate his confidence in Joe Kelly as the reliever has traversed rough terrain to begin his Dodgers career. He told Kelly he still believed in him despite his 9.82 ERA in his first 11 innings as a Dodger, despite allowing a run in seven of his 10 outings, despite his failures leading directly to three losses after signing a three-year, $25-million contract during the offseason.

“But words only go so far, Roberts noted, so he demonstrated his trust in Kelly in the Dodgers’ 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. With the Dodgers nursing a two-run lead and Dylan Floro, the Dodgers’ best reliever this season, unavailable, Roberts summoned Kelly to pitch the eighth inning at Wrigley Field.

“’We need him and to back that up and put him in leverage,” Roberts said, “I really hope that sends a message to him.’”

NHL playoffs

Thursday’s scores (read game stories here)

Boston 3, Columbus 2 (Bruins lead series , 1-0)

St. Louis 3, Dallas 1 (Blues lead series, 1-0)

Today’s schedule

(All times Pacific)

Carolina at New York Islanders, 4 p.m. NBCSN (First game of series)

Colorado at San Jose, 7 p.m. NBCSN (First game of series)

Odds and ends

Angels’ bats help them avoid sweep against Yankees. … NBA, Kings name women to lead investigation of Luke Walton sex assault allegations. … Lakers’ coaching search continues as more team officials get involved in interviews. … FBI executed warrants to seize $2.7 million in college admissions scandal. … John Havlicek dies; Boston Celtics star won eight NBA titles in 16 seasons. … Stacy Lewis juggles golf and a baby and she shares lead at Wilshire Country Club.

Today’s local major sports schedule

(All times Pacific)

Golden State at Clippers, 7 p.m., ESPN

Pittsburgh at Dodgers, 7 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Angels at Kansas City, 5:15 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Born on this date

1917: Baseball player Sal “The Barber” Maglie

1918: Sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen

1947: Swimmer Donna De Varona

And finally

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email us here. If you want to subscribe, click here.