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Three UMass players sign NFL deals

Andy Isabella headlines the group after being selected in the 2nd round of NFL Draft

Florida International v Massachusetts
Andy Isabella (23) and Marquis Young (8) will both be in NFL camps this summer.
Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

If the Cardinals figure to deliver an Air Raid offense, consider their late second round pick a warning siren to the NFL.

UMass wide receiver Andy Isabella was officially drafted with the 62nd overall pick. He’ll forever be linked as (indirectly) the guy Arizona traded Top 10 pick Josh Rosen for.

The former Ohio high school track star and Biletnikoff Award finalist is a second round selection—beating some prognostications (*coughs and raises hand*) and landing as the seventh receiver taken off the board.

He is the highest Minuteman draft pick since offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse was drafted one spot earlier than Isabella (61st overall) in 2010 with the New York Jets.

Isabella is the first UMass skill position player to be taken in the second round or higher since quarterback Greg Landry was drafted 11th overall by the Detroit Lions in 1968.

The early selection comes as no surprise in Amherst.

After leading the nation in receiving yards in 2018 and torching SEC giant Georgia in the season finale, Isabella improved his stock by becoming the Senior Bowl North squad’s MVP and putting up one of the fastest 40-yard times at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He instantly becomes a weapon for overall No. 1 pick Kyler Murray, who Arizona will be leaning on to lead new head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid offensive attack.

Sound the sirens.

Where Isabella fits in offense

Larry Fitzgerald will have a lot of new names to learn in receiver meetings this summer.

Isabella was one of three wide receivers drafted by the Cardinals to support Kingsbury’s anticipated up-tempo offense. Arizona also drafted Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler and Fresno State’s KeeSean Johnson.

They figure to slot in behind Fitzgerald and last year’s second round selection, Christian Kirk, who showed promise in his own rookie season before an injury ended it early.

With running back David Johnson being a very capable receiver out of the backfield, Murray will have plenty of options.

Anticipate Isabella to be the third option for now, but look for many, many, many 3, 4 and 5-receiver sets. Being third on the depth chart could also mean a chance to showcase that blazing speed against lower-depth cornerbacks.

And if you put linebackers or safeties on him, man-on-man, prepare for plenty of mismatches.

Moses, Young headed to NFL Camps

Isabella was the only Minuteman to hear his name called in Nashville this past weekend, but will not be the only eligible draftee making his way to an NFL roster.

In fact, he won’t be the only former Minuteman at the Arizona Cardinals training camp.

Florida International v Massachusetts Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Cornerback Lee Moses will get his chance at Sunday football with the Cardinals after receiving an offer to attend their training camp.

The Cardinals figure to start Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford at cornerback by Week 1, and drafted Byron Murphy out of Washington as well.

Moses finished his UMass career with 143 total tackles, seven interceptions and 19 passes defended.

Massachusetts v Boston College

Also, former running back Marquis Young signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts shortly after the final round of the draft concluded.

Young is (as of Monday at noon) the only undrafted running backs signed by the Colts, who also did not draft a running back this weekend (and, in fact, drafted defensive players with seven of their first eight picks).

The Indianapolis backfield is expected to feature Marlon Mack as the primary tailback, followed by Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins.

Young had 4,297 total yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns in his time as a Minuteman.

Young also had success as a kick returner—an added dimension that should help increase Young’s value as a consideration to the Colts’ 53-man roster.