2023 NFL Draft Profile: EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive end Myles Murphy (98) rushes against the Boston College Eagles during the second quarter at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the 2022 college football season is over, it’s time to start taking a closer look at some of the top prospects in the 2023 NFL draft class.

Next up, we have Clemson edge defender Myles Murphy.

Stat to know: 84.1 run-defense grade last season ranked second in the ACC among edge defenders.

NFL role: Myles Murphy was a productive player since day one at Clemson. He is particularly good against the run, posting a 92.5 run defense grade in his true freshman season, which led the entire nation. Murphy is a freak athlete with elite strength and speed for his size. Plenty of NFL teams could use a player who is great at stopping both the run and the pass, and Murphy fits the description.

He’s a little bit of a project, as he’s still developing some pass-rushing skills and techniques, but one thing’s for sure: not many edge defenders are as fast as Murphy. And because of that, he will most likely be a top-10 draft pick.

Highest-graded game: Week 4 vs. Wake Forest (90.6)

Murphy recorded four hurries in this game along with a 29.2% pass-rush win rate. Both were season highs for the Clemson edge defender. Wake Forest tried multiple guys switching off and on him and just simply could not block him. Murphy’s final pass-rushing grade in this one came out to 92.8 — an elite mark.

Lowest-graded game: Week 1 vs. Georgia Tech (57.2)

It was a bit of a rusty start for Murphy in his first game of the season. He didn’t record a single tackle and finished with only one pressure. Georgia Tech’s offensive line held Murphy to a 5.9% pass-rush win rate, which was his lowest of the entire season. He also played a season-low 44 snaps. We can forgive this performance, though, as sometimes it takes a few games to get back up to speed, which Murphy clearly did since then.

What he does well: Murphy used his pure strength and speed to dominate at the college level. He’s so hard to match up against given his athleticism. Murphy has excellent pursuit and the ability to just hawk down the quarterback.

He finished with seven sacks this season, but as good as his pass rushing is, his run defense is even more impressive. In his first two seasons, Murphy graded over 84.0 both times in run defense. That number dipped into the 70s this season, but that is not fully indicative of how well his career run-defense profile at Clemson. Murphy claims he ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash back in high school along with benching over 405 pounds. Both of these measures would be considered fairly elite for NFL defensive ends.

What he needs to improve: From an athletic standpoint, Murphy is in the top tier among defensive line prospects. But while he will test through the roof at the combine, Murphy still has a lot to develop in his game. Not even 21 years of age yet, he will be one of the youngest prospects in the draft class, meaning he still has a lot of growing to do as a player.

Truthfully, he’s a similar prospect to Georgia's Travon Walker last season. Murphy will need to work on his pass-rushing moves and improve his technique on that front. Right now, he sometimes looks like a bull running around out there on the field. But he sure does run with a purpose. NFL coaches will teach him the right technique to get the most out of his physicality. If Murphy can develop and improve his skills, he could end up being a Pro Bowl defensive end someday.

Best NFL traits: Arm length, speed, wide frame, athleticism, pursuit

Best NFL fits: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars

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