Cardinals second round selection Andy Isabella said he was “star struck” when he saw Kyler Murray at the NFL combine. He may have a reason to thank his new teammate for his new landing spot.
After adding pick #62 from Miami in exchange for Josh Rosen, the Cardinals selected the UMass wide receiver in the late second round. He’s the first weapon added for Murray since the quarterback was taken first overall on Thursday.
The 5-foot-9, 180 pound wide receiver caught 102 passes for 1,698 yards (the best in FBS) and 13 touchdowns his senior year. In his two games against Power 5 teams – Boston College and Georgia – he caught 5 passes for 95 yards and 15 passes for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns receptively.
He had five games where he caught over 10 passes. He could be a constant target in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense that would require high-volume receivers.
“I can’t wait,” Isabella said. “(Kingsbury) talked a little bit about it at the combine and said some stuff that they would have me doing and I’m just excited.”
Isabella ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL combine and said Kingsbury talked with him about potentially playing out of the slot.
But Pro Football Focus explains that he can cycle through multiple spots in the offense and thrived on the outside.
His 4.15 yards per route was the second-highest figure in the nation and the highest of anyone in the draft class. Isabella averaged that despite every defense they faced knowing the ball was going his way. His 1,696 yards accounted for 47.7 percent of UMass’ passing yards on the season. The 5-9 dynamo also collected an absurd 705 deep yards (third) despite having only 21.9% of his targets come 20-plus yards down the field (174th-highest rate out of 231 qualifying receivers).
Andy Isabella is worth a first-round pick – @PFF_Mike explains why pigeonholing him in the slot is, well, lazy.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 18, 2019
Playing in Massachusetts and having a skill set that caters to constant receptions has made evaluators compare the wide receiver to New England Patriots target Julian Edelman, which Isabella is fully on board for.
“That’s a cool comparison. He’s probably going to be a Hall of Famer. That’s something I would love to be.”
Isabella’s consistent production made him a Day 2 pick, but he said he felt overlooked because he went to a smaller school. He hopes to prove himself against the best of the best.
“I can’t wait to get in this league and show what I’m made of.”