Position: Defensive Tackle
Age (Draft Day): 21
Height/Weight: 6'1", 308 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 5.05 seconds
From DeSoto High School, Byron Murphy II wasn't the most heavily recruited prospect. Though ESPN considered him a 3-star recruit, 247 Sports saw his potential and gave him a 4-star ranking. Ignoring the lower rating, Murphy II chose Texas as his school of choice.
Murphy II saw significant action as a freshman, playing in all 12 games and accumulating nearly 300 snaps. While his total tackle count of 11 might not seem overwhelming, his 10 "stops" (tackles resulting in an offensive failure) showcased his impact. He generated 11 pressures on opposing quarterbacks, demonstrating his early potential as a disruptor.
His role expanded in his sophomore season, participating in over 350 snaps across 12 games. His tackle numbers climbed to 22, and his stops increased to 18. More importantly, his pass-rushing prowess continued to develop, with 19 total pressures – including 16 hurries and 2 hits – along with another sack.
This year marked Murphy II's breakout season. Playing in 13 games and exceeding 390 snaps, he maintained his consistent tackling (13 tackles, 19 stops). However, his pass rush exploded: an incredible 40 total pressures (30 hurries, 4 hits, 5 sacks). This impressive performance earned him an invitation to the prestigious Reese's Senior Bowl, a testament to his rise from under-the-radar recruit to potential NFL star.
Freak Athlete-He earned the 18th spot on Bruce Feldman's annual "Freaks list". He has rare athleticism for the position, which is enough to be drafted in the first 50 picks.
Elite Get-Off- He has a rapid burst off of the line of scrimmage, which allows him to consistently create havoc behind the line of scrimmage.
Leverage- He possesses the strength to hold his ground against the run and fend off multiple blockers. Not often do you find a player of his small stature who can hold their own against double teams.
Effort- His motor runs non-stop, allowing him to help on tackles that he has no business making.
Size- Does not possess the ideal size typically sought after for an interior lineman in the NFL
Athleticism Reliance- Occasionally relies too heavily on athleticism, which can open up lanes in the running game.
Functional Power- Could enhance power and consistency in leg drive during engagements. While he is strong, he could be more consistent at the point of attack.
Over Aggressiveness- At times, he can be too aggressive upfield, which can lead to over-penetration and cause running lanes to open in his gap.
NFL Comparison: Geno Atkins
The comparison between Byron Murphy II and Geno Atkins comes naturally, given their similar stature and approach to the game. Both players demonstrate a blend of power and agility that makes them exceptionally effective as pass rushers, despite not fitting the traditional mold in terms of size.
NFL Draft Outlook- First Round Pick
Projected as a first-round pick, Byron Murphy II stands out as a prime candidate in the 2024 NFL Draft, thanks to his blend of raw athleticism and technical skill. His potential for further development and adaptation at the professional level makes him a compelling prospect for teams seeking a versatile and impactful defensive tackle.