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UW Huskies’ Byron Murphy, Drew Sample, Taylor Rapp picked in 2nd round of NFL Draft

Byron Murphy's hometown Arizona Cardinals made him the first pick of the second round. (AP)

Byron Murphy called Montlake home for the past three years, but the UW Huskies cornerback is heading back to where he called home before his college career: Arizona.

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The Arizona Cardinals made Murphy, who grew up in nearby Scottsdale, the first pick of the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Friday.

There was a run of Huskies that went in the second round. The Cincinnati Bengals made tight end Drew Sample the 52nd overall selection, while safety Taylor Rapp joins Murphy in the NFC West after going 61st overall to the reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams.

Murphy was a first-team All-America selection by Pro Football Focus and Athlon’s, second-team All-America by the Associated Press, SI.com, The Sporting News and USA Today, and first-team All-Pac-12 as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. He had four interceptions, 13 pass breakups, 58 combined tackles and four tackles for loss for the Huskies last season.

With his Huskies career over, Murphy will most likely be remembered by Washington fans for his MVP-like performance in the 2018 Pac-12 Championship game. He made a pair of interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, to lead the Dawgs to a 10-3 win over Utah and clinch a Rose Bowl appearance.

Sample becomes the fifth Washington tight end to head to the NFL since 2014, joining the likes of Will Dissly (a 2018 pick of the Seahawks) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The 6-foot-5, 251-pound Sample was honorable mention All-Pac-12 in 2016 and 2018. A Bellevue native and alum of Newport High School, Sample had 25 receptions for 252 yards and three touchdowns as a senior last year.

Rapp, who attended Sehome High School in Bellingham, was a first-team All-America selection by TheAthletic.com, PFF, ESPN and USA Today in 2018, and a second-team All-America selection by the Associated Press, SI.com, The Sporting News, CBS Sports and Athlon’s. A back-to-back All-Pac-12 first-teamer in 2017 and 2018 and the Pac-12’s Freshman Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, Rapp made two interceptions, three fumble recoveries, seven passes defensed, 59 total tackles and six tackles for loss as a junior in 2018. He finishes his career at Washington with seven interceptions.

Murphy, Sample and Rapp were preceded in the draft by Huskies offensive tackle Kaleb McGary, as the Fife native was selected 31st overall in the first round Thursday by the Atlanta Falcons.

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