My goal for all these draft analyses were to alternate between the Eagles and the Saints pick. With one currently at #4 and the other on the opposite side of the first round, we are getting a wide range of players. The last prospect we looked at was Georgia" Jalen Carter. I got a lot of backlash as DT is not a huge need. My guess is anyone who made comments about that, never actually read it. When am do these prospect analyses the goal is to inform Eagles nation on all the guys the Eagles could draft next April.
Everyone was upset I mentioned a DT when DE is a bigger need. I do agree with that statement so that is why we are going to focus on another player with the Saints pick. We are now going to look at Clemson's Myles Murphy.
Weight: 275 lbs
Murphy is in his 3rd year as a starter for the Clemson Tigers. He started as a true freshman in 2020. In his rookie campaign he was named ACC Newcomer of the Year after he recorded 20 tackles, 12 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 5 sacks. As a sophomore he led the team in tackles and sacks with 21 and 9. He also added 33 QB hurries to his stat line in 2021. In 2022 he currently has 13 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
Throughout his time at Clemson, Murphy has been one of their most dominant defensive linemen. In his first ever collegiate game against Wake Forest, Murphy as a true freshman recorded two sacks. Ever since that game, Murphy has wreaked havoc on opponents. In 25 years, I do not believe I have ever seen a player play at this high level as a true freshman all the way through their junior year. He always got better with every game.
Getting to the QB
Speed and power style rushing
It was actually hard to figure out 3 strengths for Murphy. The reason it was so difficult was because he does a little bit of everything. He has a spin move that is almost unstoppable in college, but he also has the strength to just bulldoze through a blocker. The most important thing for a DE is to get to the QB. Of all the things Murphy does well, he gets to the QB a lot and does it so well.
Getting to the QB is an EDGE rusher's goal. The reason for that is his toolbox of skills that he has at his disposal. When he rushes the outside, his first step is strong that he can flatten any LT that is in front of him with ease. When he rushes the inside, Murphy's spin moves, and twists are incredible. He can rush the outside or the inside with two different styles and have the same kind of success.
Here is one tool from the toolbox. This tool is simple. You realize you have more power/strength than your opponent and you walk through them like it is the door to your house.
That brings us to strength number 2 with Murphy. He is not a speed or a power rusher. He does it both. However, you can see glimpses of his speed and power when he rushes both the outside and inside. When he rushes the outside, he plants his feet and uses his force to keep pushing the blocker back, eventually flattening them and using his speed to get to the QB. When he rushes the inside, he has such strong hands that he can move the blocker wherever he wants and creates the gap to get to the QB. His blend of both power and speed compliments each other well.
This play just shows you how strong he is and how quick he is.
Murphy is just an overall freak athlete. Just watch him play. There is not much for me to say on this. The film speaks for itself. Just check out this play against Boston College. Even being held the entire play, he still gets to the QB with such ease. The power Murphy has is just to much that even being held he is hard to stop.
There is a lot to appreciate in this play. The LT never stood a chance. The amount of distance Murphy has to cover before he gets to the QB is a lot. A player of his size should not be able to cover that much ground after he was blocked.
Areas of Improvement
Make better use of length
Rely more on your hands
Cut down on missed opportunities
We are going to wrap all these things into one thing. Murphy is super productive due to his speed and power in which he plays. His IQ is off the charts and that is due to his many options within his toolbox. However, there are a lot of missed opportunities with Murphy and that is due to him being out maneuvered by the QB. You want to beat Murphy's rush? Option the ball or run a zone read. Murphy struggles a lot with both of those things and more times than not becomes unreliable in those moments.
Murphy has a larger length than most players at his position, but when you watch him play you would never even realize. He focuses so much on his power and strength that you cannot even realize how he could even be more dominant if he used his length more to his ability. He has shown glimpses of it, but there are so many times he does uses his hands, and it is a missed opportunity.
All of these areas lead to missed opportunities. When Murphy is on there is no stopping him. However, his weakness in his hands and inability to use his length led to missed opportunities. His power and strength are unmatched, but all it takes is a QB to outsmart him and his game is over. NFL QB's are bright individuals compared to the ACC, he is going to need to work on his hands in the pass rush if he wants to continue this dominate play in the NFL.
Fit with the Eagles
Now where would Murphy fit in with the Eagles. It is simple and it is a move that we all expect to happen and dreaded this day. We finally move on from Brandon Graham. He is currently at the end of a 3-year contract and is 34 years old. This is a move that is not popular, but if you follow the Eagles, you know it was a move that is going to happen. Derek Barnett has proven to be as unreliable as possible and him not playing at all in 2022 turned out to be the best thing for the team.
Assuming we do not do some insane trade for TJ Watt or Myles Garrett, if we were to draft Myles Murphy, he would be the day 1 starter, since he would be the best option on the roster. The Eagles would get a day 1 starter.
Now would I draft Murphy if I am the Eagles? As of right now, I am NOT drafting Myles Murphy. A lot can change and hopefully after he concludes his season, goes to the combine and pro day, that may change. He brings a lot to the table for the Eagles. But the Eagles are in a win now scenario in 2023, and Murphy I think is still a few years away from being as dominant as he can be. He has a lot of boxes he still needs to check. He needs to figure out his hands in the rush and he needs to focus more on leverage and flexibility in his hips. This EDGE class is very deep, and the Eagles will draft an EDGE, but I do not think Murphy is the guy.
Murphy is going to be a very good player in the NFL. He has the deep tool box and the skills, but too many unchecked boxes right now. If he can clean up his hands and play more to his length than my opinion will change. Until then, I think the Eagles should look for an EDGE elsewhere and draft someone else with the Saints pick.