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Byron Murphy 2019 NFL Draft Profile

The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Washington cornerback doesn’t have a lot of experience, but has entered his name in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Background

Position: Cornerback

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

2018 stats: 58 total tackles, four tackles for loss, four interceptions, 13 passes defended, one forced fumble, one touchdown

Size: 5-foot-11, 190 pounds

Murphy was only able to start for one full season at Washington, but still managed to generate some buzz. That buzz has shifted from fans of college football into NFL scouting departments. Now he has a chance to be selected early in the 2019 NFL Draft.

He had 74 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, six interceptions, 20 passes defended, two forced fumbles and one touchdown at Washington. After redshirting his first year on Washington’s campus, Murphy played in six games in his redshirt freshman season. His season only consisted of six games due to an injury sustained in practice, as he played the first three and last three games of the season. Murphy was healthy in 2018 and helped lead the Huskies to the Rose Bowl after earning Pac-12 Championship Game MVP for his pick-six, which was the only touchdown of the game.

His play in his redshirt sophomore season helped put him on the map for NFL personnel to evaluate. Now he is projected to be one of the first cornerbacks selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Strengths

Murphy is great in zone coverage and can fit in early with a team in the NFL that runs a zone scheme. He keeps his eyes on the quarterback to make sure he is in the right position for each play. Murphy can drop into a deep zone or play underneath and be successful. His football intelligence limits how many times he gets beaten.

Not only is he great in zone coverage, but he also has great ball skills. He has solid range and goes after and gets the ball, even if he has to battle through a receiver. This is also a credit to his awareness or intelligence to know where the ball will be going. He can swat balls down or pick them off. Once he has the ball in his hands, he is a threat to take it back for a touchdown.

One of the more underrated qualities about Murphy is his quickness. He has great feet and can change direction well. He has fluid hips and can flip them when he needs to. With his good acceleration and hips, Murphy can keep his speed going downfield to keep up with receivers.

Weakness

He has a light frame that he will need to add to in order to be successful at the NFL level. This limits how much he can do in press coverage and how much he can do in the running game. He will also have trouble outmuscling receivers for the ball if referees are keeping flags in their pockets.

Murphy won’t help stop the run. Some of this was by design at Washington, as he was dropping back in zone and wasn’t necessarily asked to be a good run defender. He also doesn’t have the strength to shed a lot of blocks. If teams realize that he doesn’t want to help in stopping the run, they could find a way to make him pay for it.

His tackling was also subpar in college. He tried to take out ball carriers’ ankles, but would miss tackles because of his lack of strength and his unwillingness to form tackle. He does, however, have the capability to lay down big hits at times. Murphy will need to put more effort into tackling at the pro level to be a complete corner.

Projected Draft Range: First round-Second round

 

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