The Latest on the NFL draft (all times EDT):
Hall of Fame-bound Kevin Mawae, a star center for the Tennessee Titans and, before them, the Jets and Seahawks, spoke as part of the Heart of a Hall of Famer program this week. Mawae appeared at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, where he was a dean of students.
“It’s not where you start the race; it’s how you finish it,” Mawae said as he told students how being involved in the draft can apply to life in general.
“You can start at the bottom, the middle, or even the top, but it is how you finish the race and run the race. A career is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.”
The Heart of a Hall of Famer educational series provides students the opportunity to learn firsthand what it took beyond athletic ability for players to achieve success on and off the field. The program focuses on the Hall of Fame’s core values of commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence.
Mawae will be inducted into the hall in August in Canton, Ohio.
If Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray is selected by the Arizona Cardinals to open the NFL draft Thursday night, he would become the 22nd Heisman Trophy winner to go first overall.
He also would be the second straight Sooners quarterback to pull it off: Baker Mayfield went to Cleveland in 2018.
The Heisman hardly is a harbinger of success in the pros. But there have been enough players since Jay Berwanger managed the feat in the initial draft in 1935 to go first that it is not an unusual occurrence.
Indeed, in this century four players, all QBs, did it: Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston in 2015, two years after taking the trophy; Carolina’s Cam Newton in 2011; the Rams’ Sam Bradford in 2010, also two years after he won the Heisman; and Carson Palmer in 2003.
The last non-quarterback to pull off the double was running back Bo Jackson in 1986, though he never reported to the Buccaneers.