2020 NFL Draft: Kyle Murphy is a small-school prospect to watch

Rhode Island offensive lineman Kyle Murphy has put together a strong start to his senior season and is a potential sleeper in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-4, 302-pound team captain is a two-year starter that has experience at left guard, center, and both tackle positions. He’s locked down the blind-side as Rhode Island’s left tackle the last two seasons.

Murphy possesses the physical profile and skill set of a potential left guard at the next level.

He has solid arm length and a filled-out frame and is a good fit for a zone-blocking scheme at the next level.

Murphy has above average short-area burst and explosiveness coming off of the snap. He has impressive quickness getting to the 2nd level, although he experiences mixed results when asked to do so. He looks for work and can quickly position his body to take on linebackers when he gets there, but he doesn’t always have a plan and struggles to reset when his hands have been shed initial.

There are times where he struggles to get his hat across blocking on the move on a consistent basis, but the flashes and athletic upside warrant reason to believe he could develop in this area.

Murphy has a quick initial punch, but it tends to be a little wide and he has times where he struggles to reset inside. His hands are powerful and Murphy flashes effective hand usage, but it’s still an area he continues to refine.

He’s an effective help blocker in pass protection, but Murphy doesn’t possess the size or skill-set to hold up on the outside at the next level. He struggles when he’s on an island and tends to get beat on the outside against speed rushers.

Despite some of his issues, Murphy displays tremendous athletic bend and does a nice job keeping his pads down. When he’s unable to win the leverage battle, Murphy is smart and will use his hands to use opposing linemen’s downward momentum against them.

Murphy can defend against counter moves and widen the pocket at times, but he’s better fit to serve as in interior pass protector in the NFL. He needs to further develop his anchor against the bull rush and could have issues early on against NFL-caliber power.

There are areas where he needs to continue to develop, but Murphy has the upside to develop into an adequate starting guard in his first couple of seasons.

He’s a bit of a sleeper in the 2020 NFL Draft class, but he’s a player that could elevate his stock in one-on-one drills in Mobile, assuming he receives a Senior Bowl invite.