For the third straight year, a Stanford product was among the first 50 selections of the NFL Draft.
The Cardinal's run of early draft success continued on Friday with the Washington Redskins' selection of former Stanford outside linebacker Trent Murphy at No. 47 overall. Murphy is the highest drafted Stanford defensive player since Tank Williams in 2002.
"It was pure joy, really," Murphy said. "Such a sigh of relief to be drafted and have this waiting game over. It's definitely been building up. So I just kind of heard my family erupt with joy and cheer inside. We're all pretty excited."
Murphy took a visit to Washington's complex about a month-and-a-half ago, and felt comfortable with the possibility of beginning his professional career with the Redskins.
"It definitely felt like home there so I couldn't be more excited that's where I ended up," Murphy said.
Although Murphy was a second-round pick, he was the first player selected by the Redskins in the 2014 Draft; Washington's first-round pick went to St. Louis as part of the Robert Griffin III trade.
Murphy doesn't take his standing at the head of the Redskins' draft class lightly.
"It definitely shows that I as high on their board and they really, really wanted to take me," Murphy said. "That means a lot, to be a team's first pick even though it's not in the first round. I couldn't be more excited to be that guy and to put that weight on my shoulder and to wake up every day and give it my best effort and push myself and the organization to new levels."
Murphy's path to becoming an NFL starter is murkier than many second-round picks, however. The Redskins already have two productive outside linebackers in Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo.
But Murphy doesn't view the challenges of earning playing time in a crowded position group as a negative.
"That's pretty exciting for me," Murphy said. "Just to be able to learn from a couple of guys like that and see two guys that are successful at the position and how they do it and how they teach it and everything like that. I'm pretty excited and hopefully I can find a role into that rotation."
First-year Redskins head coach Jay Gruden complimented Murphy's ability to pressure the quarterback as well as the Arizona native's intangibles.
"We saw in Trent Murphy another guy that can rush the passer," Gruden said. "He's a proven pass rusher. 14.5 sacks this year, he led the country in sacks. He works his tail off. He's first on the field every day, the last to leave. He studies the game. He's big, he's long. He may not have the explosion right now off the line of scrimmage which might have knocked him down to the second round, but I look for production. I look for intensity. I look for toughness and accountability. He has all those traits. And if he has all those traits I know he's going to work hard in the weight room to get stronger and provide another pass rusher and some depth at the position. We felt like he was a very good fit for our team."
Murphy was the only Stanford player drafted on Friday. Several other Cardinal players, including David Yankey, Cameron Fleming, Shayne Skov, Ed Reynolds and Josh Mauro were projected by various outlets to be drafted in the third-round range. Each figures to be selected at some point tomorrow.
Tyler Gaffney, Ben Gardner and Ryan Hewitt could also go off the board on the draft's third day.