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1st Round - Myles Murphy - Defensive End


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From Dane Burgeler 

 

BACKGROUND: Myles Murphy, the youngest of two boys, was born and raised in Marietta, just northwest of Atlanta. He grew up playing baseball, basketball and football, but baseball was his original go-to sport. As well as playing outfield and first base, Murphy was a left-handed pitcher and threw 90 MPH at age 14. He attended Hillgrove High School (same alma mater as several active NFL players, including the Miami Dolphins’ Bradley Chubb and Jacksonville Jaguars’ Evan Engram), where he was a varsity starter as a freshman. As a junior, Murphy posted 55 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks, helping Hillgrove to a school-record 12 wins. As a senior, he again led Hillgrove to the playoffs and was named a U.S. Army All-American, finishing the 2019 season with 53 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and a blocked kick. Murphy continued playing baseball and basketball through his sophomore year in high school.

 

A five-star recruit, Murphy was the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the 2020 recruiting class and the No. 2 recruit in Georgia (behind tight end Arik Gilbert and two spots ahead of edge rusher Will Anderson). He was ranked as the No. 7 recruit overall and the No. 4 defensive recruit in the country behind only defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, cornerback Kelee Ringo and linebacker Justin Flowe. Murphy had no shortage of college suitors and received his first major offers from Georgia and Auburn as a sophomore, followed shortly by Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Ohio State. He grew up a Crimson Tide fan but didn’t feel at home in Tuscaloosa and narrowed down his final choice to Auburn, Clemson and Georgia (his mother’s alma mater). Murphy visited Clemson double-digit times, before he committed in May 2019 (his main recruiter was Tigers defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall). He enrolled early in January 2020 with plans to major in construction science and management (he wants to become an architect for major structures, including sports stadiums). His father (Willard) played running back and was originally committed to Florida State, but the offer was withdrawn after he suffered a knee injury his senior year in high school. Willard earned a scholarship from TennesseeChattanooga as a linebacker (1980-83) and later played for the Birmingham Stallions in the USFL. Myles’ older brother (Max), who also played at Hillgrove, was a defensive lineman at Worchester Poly Institute (2016-19). Murphy opted out of the 2022 bowl game and skipped his senior season to enter the 2023 NFL Draft

 

STRENGTHS: Outstanding size, length and build … fires upfield as a pass rusher with get-off burst and arc speed … plays balanced on his feet to knife through gaps or drive on the quarterback when stunts create rush lanes … gets the tackle twisted when he widens and times his long-arm move correctly … big, powerful hands to snatch blockers or create knockback … weight-room numbers (405-pound max bench press, 345-pound max power clean) translate to the field … aggressive run defender with the strength to hold the point of attack and spill outside runs … not intimidated by double teams … has the chase effort to close and make tackles away from the line of scrimmage … physical tackler with the strength in his hands to dislodge the football (six forced fumbles) or ground ball carriers with his fingertips … owns a grounded personality and doesn’t want to disappoint his coaches … played in 38 straight games before opting out of the bowl game … dependable backfield production with 37.0 tackles for loss in 38 career games.

 

WEAKNESSES: Undeveloped rush setup … doesn’t show an array of moves or counters, relying more on burst and power … shows off an aggressive bull rush and longarm move but struggles to work off of that … finds himself too far upfield and not a natural hip flipper at the top of his rush … inconsistent eyes and tends to overthink once engaged, leaving him late to react … gets upright in the run game and can be moved by angle blocks … reserved by nature and must develop more of a killer instinct … mediocre pressure and sack numbers relative to his talent (finished third on the team with 34 pressures in 2022) … sidelined for the combine with a left hamstring injury (March 2023).

 

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Clemson, Murphy lined up at right defensive end in defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin’s multiple fronts but lined up everywhere from 4i or three-technique all the way out to wide nine-technique. A former top 10 high school recruit nationally, he made an immediate impact with the Tigers and posted double-digit tackles for loss each of his three seasons in college. Straight out of central casting with his frame, length and low body fat (13.5 percent in 2022), Murphy fires upfield and quickly gets on blocks, but there is more hesitation than you want to see once he’s. Although he currently lacks diversity in his pass-rush moves/counters, his natural combination of burst, strength and violent hands will overwhelm blockers and allow him to affect the backfield rhythm in different ways. Overall, Murphy lacks efficient move-to-move transitions as a pass rusher, but he is naturally gifted with the explosive traits, play speed and length to be a disruptive leverage-power rusher in the NFL. He projects as a base end in a four-man front with the floor of an NFL starter.

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Overview

Murphy has excellent size/traits and has been consistently productive in impact categories for three straight years. He plays with a plus motor and good first-step quickness, but his game isn’t really twitchy or explosive. He has finishing talent when he’s inside the pocket, but he needs to vary his rush angles and find an effective inside counter, as NFL tackles will be expecting his long-arm bull-rush technique. Murphy’s length and post-up strength could provide the scheme and positional versatility that puts him on every draft board. The traits and upside are there, but his skill level needs a boost to push the ceiling higher.

 

 

Strengths
  • NFL size and length for scheme versatility.
  • Gets up the rush track with sudden first step.
  • Long-arm rush move to run tackle into the pocket.
  • Quick to recalibrate his rush after taking an early punch.
  • Uses long strides to escape block redirection around the rush arc.
  • Lateral burst to beat tackles across their face off the snap.
  • Slants into gaps with proper bend and leverage to counter wash-down attempts.
  • Uses spin move to disengage from run blocks.
  • Crashes down hard to spoil the run from back side.
  • Keeps his tank full of gas for pursuit.
Weaknesses
  • Doesn’t come up with much of a rush plan to beat tackles.
  • Rides on pass blocks beyond depth of the pocket.
  • Needs to work on adding an inside counter to his bag.
  • Leggy movements can slow momentum as a rusher.
  • Average body control through contact.
  • Below average short-area agility as tackler.
  • Takes him time getting to top speed in pursuit.
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So this Murphy looks a lot like Dunlap---granted, these are my first thoughts.  Personally, I would rather gotten a TE here either Mayer or the TE from Georgia.  I can understand the pick for Murphy though, considering the QBs our rushers have to chase, in particular Lamar Jackson and Mahomes.  You just dont have enough quality rushers.

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5 minutes ago, DanvilleBengal said:

So this Murphy looks a lot like Dunlap---granted, these are my first thoughts.  Personally, I would rather gotten a TE here either Mayer or the TE from Georgia.  I can understand the pick for Murphy though, considering the QBs our rushers have to chase, in particular Lamar Jackson and Mahomes.  You just dont have enough quality rushers.

Agree.I wanted Mayer also.

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20 minutes ago, IKOTA said:

In 2 yrs people will wonder how he lasted until pick 28. 

 

Apparently he was rated much higher by some, and the team seems to think they got a steal, so I will defer to their judgement.

 

Reading more scouting reports he sounds like more of an overall disrupter than a pure pass rusher.  I like DL that consistently blow up plays even when it's not showing up on their stat line. Sounds like this dude has the tools to cause problems.  

 

Relieved it's not a RB and glad they didn't reach for a marginal tackle. 

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DE wasn't high on my list of wants but if Murphy is good, the positional stuff doesn't matter much. Just need to stack as many good young players as possible.

 

While there is definitely going to be an opportunity for him to be in the rotation immediately, especially if they think he can rush from DT in obvious passing downs, this feels very much like a "the window is my whole career" pick with a view to the long run. Murphy's 7 years younger than Hendrickson and the Bengals do need to start getting the next generation of the defense in place. 

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