NFL Draft: Gophers Murray, Campbell selected

By Andy GrederSt. Paul Pioneer PressMINNEAPOLIS -- With a din of excitement audible from his native Milwaukee, Gophers cornerback Eric Murray shared the euphoria that erupted when he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL draft's fourt...

By Andy Greder
St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS - With a din of excitement audible from his native Milwaukee, Gophers cornerback Eric Murray shared the euphoria that erupted when he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL draft’s fourth round Saturday.
“The reaction was pure happiness from everybody,” Murray told the Pioneer Press in a noisy phone conversation. About the 25 people had gathered to celebrate the next step of Murray’s career, which became the AFC West team when he was named the 106th player taken just before noon.
Nine picks later, Gophers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell was taken with the 115th pick by the Atlanta Falcons.
With that pair picked, the Gophers made program history with six combined players taken in the top 150 in the two previous drafts. Last year, the Gophers’ foursome was Maxx Williams (55th overall), Damien Wilson (127th), David Cobb (138) and Cedric Thompson (150).
After a three-draft drought with no players taken, this year’s draft is the third consecutive with multiple Gophers selected.
Wide receiver KJ Maye went undrafted and signed as free agent with the New York Giants.
Cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun later agreed to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he confirmed to the Pioneer Press.
Punter Peter Mortell was also shopping in free agency Saturday evening.
At Minnesota, Murray was an ultra-durable player during his four years with the Gophers, never missing a game nor practice. The press cornerback made 192 tackles, broke up 24 passes, but had only two interceptions across 52 games.
“Eric is the best football player I have had the pleasure of coaching in my career,” Gophers coach Tracy Claeys said in a statement. “He is smart, tough, physical, durable and extremely coachable. … Eric loves the game and has the potential to be a lockdown corner who can eliminate half the field and provide problems for an opposing offense.”
At 5-feet-11 and 199 pounds, Murray was a two-star recruit, who had scholarship interest from Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. He took an scholarship from the Gophers and midway through his career other teams began avoiding throws in his vicinity.
The Chiefs lost corner Sean Smith to the Oakland Raiders in free agency, which created a need in the secondary. “I know they like to play a lot of man, so it fits me perfect,” Murray said.
Murray hopes to earn an education from Chiefs Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry. “Just hope to learn many tidbits of knowledge from him and being in the secondary in general,” Murray said.
Murray said he didn’t hear a lot from the Chiefs in the run-up to the draft. He will travel to Kansas City on Friday.
Former Gophers quarterback and wide receiver Marqueis Gray, who is now with the Miami Dolphins, gave a shoutout to Murray on Twitter.
Campbell joins former Gopher defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, who was taken by the Falcons with the 37th pick in the second round in 2014.

Vikings tab German WR
Moritz Boehringer five years ago became a Vikings fan by watching Adrian Peterson videos in his native Germany. Now, the two are teammates.
Minnesota took the wide receiver in the sixth round Saturday with the No. 180 overall pick on the final day of three-day NFL draft. He became the first foreign player drafted after not having played at a North American college.
“It’s a dream come true,’’ said Boehringer, 22. “I’m happy that the Vikings picked me.’’
The 6-foot-4, 229-pound Boehringer is raw. He played three years in Germany for a club team before last year catching 70 passes for 1,461 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Schwabish Hall Unicorns in the German Football League.
Minnesota also selected Western Michigan offensive lineman Willie Beavers in the fourth round, Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers in the fifth, Texas-San Antonio tight end David Morgan in the sixth, Vanderbilt defensive tackle Stephen Weatherly in the seventh and Clemson safety Jayron Kearse also in the seventh.

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