Perhaps the most talented cornerback in the class, Byron Murphy hails from a school that is used to pumping out NFL talent. The former Washington Husky was an integral part of the secondary and displays enormous talent that will most certainly translate to the next level.
Weight: 182 pounds
Tape: Byron Murphy vs. Utah (2018)
Strengths: Elite, technically sound prospect and a very versatile player that can play inside or outside as a boundary cornerback. Does a great job of mirroring his receiver he’s covering, uses great foot speed to keep up with any and all matchups. Extremely polished in almost every area of the position, redirects his man with ease, uses his smooth hips to flip direction and moves freely around with no limits. Constantly is using his eyes to monitor the backfield, understands offensive concepts and never finds himself out of position. Can play in any system and can play any role as a cornerback. Good, hard-nosed tackler that has misleading power behind his pads. Plays stronger than he weighs, can challenge blockers in run support, can make the big-time hit and displays adequate click and close ability. Can come downfield and lay out the ball-carrier, takes great angles when in pursuit and constantly uses his hands as a sledgehammer to punch the ball out. Elite-level ball skills, seems to always be around or end up responsible for the big play going the other way. Is a very good bet to take any interception to the house. Has good height to his frame and while he can bait the QB, he’s not an “all or nothing” cornerback. Will make the right decision 98% of the time. Able to add value to a defense as a blitzing cornerback that uses his vision well and gets the pressure in the backfield.
Weaknesses: Play weight could be better, will miss tackles at times and his frame is developing.
Draft Grade: 1st-round
Best Fit: Any team would be a fit for Byron Murphy. I have no doubt Murphy will end up as an elite NFL cornerback in 2-3 years. He’s only 21 years old and has displayed so much as a football savvy player that understands the game inside-out and has elite athleticism mixed with elite technique.
Player Comparison: Darius Slay