NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Texas DI Byron Murphy II

2TAC0YR Texas defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) during an NCAA college football game against TCU, Saturday Nov. 11, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Matt Patterson via AP)

The 2024 NFL Draft is fast approaching. The PFF big board is live, mock draft season is in full swing and the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine has wrapped up.

This year’s defensive line class features a wide variety of skill sets and many potential impact players. UCLA’s Laiatu Latu and Alabama’s Dallas Turner headline the edge defender group, while Texas’ Byron Murphy II and Illinois’ Jer’Zhan Newton provide high-end talent along the interior.

Let's look at TexasByron Murphy II, who earned the second-highest PFF grade at the position in 2023.


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SCOUTING SUMMARY

The 6-foot-1, 305-pounder brings elite-level strength and athletic ability to trench play and notably earned a spot on Bruce Feldman's 2023 “Freaks List.”

Murphy's punch and press are violent and strong, allowing him to utilize his lower leverage to dictate run-defense battles. Teams may think they can run at him due to his measurables, but he has great lower-body strength and doesn't yield much ground versus combo blocks.

Perhaps nothing better sums up Murphy’s strength than that he played nose tackle despite 360-pound T’Vondre Sweat's presence along Texas’ defensive line. His strength and explosiveness led to excellent pass-rush grades and win rates.

Click here to see Byron Murphy II's 2024 NFL Draft profile!

WINS ABOVE AVERAGE

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric evaluators can utilize to assess performance.

It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Murphy’s Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2021.

HOW MURPHY RANKS IN THE STABLE METRICS

PFF pass-rush grade is one of the most stable measures of play, as it isolates a pass-rusher’s ability to win, how quickly he wins and how well he finishes plays.

The quicker the rusher defeats the blocker, the higher his grade will be. And given the hundreds of one-on-one interactions over a given season, this grade is very stable from year to year.

PFF pass-rush grade is strong on its own, but we can also use it to gauge performance in “must pass” situations.

Pressure percentage and win percentage are also strong measures of play and are far better than just using sack totals to evaluate a pass-rusher’s performance.

PFF run-defense grade is also very stable from year to year, while run-stop percentage is a good measure of playmaking in the run game.

Murphy’s percentile ranks in the most stable defensive stats since 2021.

Murphy possesses a unique skill set as an interior pass-rusher. His burst is unmatched, and it causes problems for slower offensive linemen. He produced a 28% pass-rush win rate on true pass rushes, a top-15 mark at the position since 2021.

BOTTOM LINE FROM PFF's 2024 NFL DRAFT GUIDE

Murphy is a gifted defensive lineman in both the strength and speed categories. He is a versatile three-down player who brings plus abilities as a run defender and a pass rusher, projecting as a first-round impact starter for any front.

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