Byron Murphy II’s Draft Profile | Texas, DT Scouting Report

With his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report, Texas DT Byron Murphy II brings shades of Grady Jarrett as a prospect. Can he follow that path?

With his scouting report, is Texas’ Byron Murphy II the top DT prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft? He has close competition, but looking at the tape, it’s hard to make an argument that many DTs are more impactful on a down-to-down basis than Murphy.

Byron Murphy II Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’1 1/8″
  • Weight: 306 pounds
  • Length: 32 3/8″
  • Wingspan: 77 1/4″
  • Hand: 10 1/4″
  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • School: Texas
  • Current Year: Junior

In 2023, T’Vondre Sweat won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, while Murphy won Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Do you know how good your defensive line has to be to sweep those awards with separate players? Pretty dang good.

Sweat and Murphy formed a perfect combination for the Longhorns, and they’ll enter the 2024 NFL Draft together as exciting, exhilarating prospects within their respective molds. Both fielded invites to the Senior Bowl as a result of their production.

Sweat automatically scores additional value from odd-front teams with his ability as a nose tackle. But Murphy — a true junior — has an even higher ceiling at the NFL level as a dynamic 3-tech disruptor.

Murphy, a four-star recruit, recorded five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2023, but that output doesn’t do justice to his week-to-week impact. At the NFL Combine, his testing numbers verified his athletic talent.

In Indianapolis, Murphy logged a 4.87-second 40-yard dash and a 33″ vertical. Both of those numbers are at least in the 93rd percentile among DTs, and his 9’3″ broad jump, 4.5-second shuttle, and 7.5-second three-cone all scored above the 80th percentile.

Murphy has all the tools to succeed as a pass rusher, a block absorber, and a playmaker. And those tools extend beyond the pure physical category as well.

Murphy’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Hyper-explosive interior defender with lightning-quick burst and energy.
  • Insanely twitched-up rusher who can use his energetic motion to offset blockers.
  • Startling lateral explosiveness allows him to invade gaps immediately off the snap.
  • Has the perfect blend of natural leverage, proportional length, and compact mass.
  • Rare natural leverage allows him to get underneath blocks effortlessly and hold strong.
  • Strength and leverage allow him to prevent displacement and withstand double-teams.
  • Flashes incredible balance and recovery capacity when absorbing combo blocks.
  • Loads exciting torquing freedom within his frame and can win with quick swim moves.
  • Shows glimpses of good speed-to-power when leveraging his burst into contact.
  • Has the combined explosiveness and flexibility to exploit rushing angles off the snap.
  • Can stack violent clubs and chops to beat run blocks then square up and occlude lanes.
  • Able to quickly process blocking angles and position himself effectively in run defense.
  • High-level force of absorption that can then power through blocks and obliterate gaps.
  • Has shown he can stack push-pull and rip moves to fight through pass block anchors.
  • Truly an unhinged competitor that takes on every role with a turbocharged motor.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have elite mass or length, which can detract from maximum raw power capacity.
  • Lack of elite mass can make him easier to knock off-balance by heavy strikes.
  • At times, his hyperactive energy can be a bit uncontrolled, affecting hand precision.
  • Initial punches sometimes tug him upright on the attack, impacting his pad level.
  • Sometimes locks his hips and loses power when attempting to torque punches.
  • Isn’t always able to sustain leg drive on power exertions against larger blockers.
  • Can still be quicker and more consistent at adapting and employing pass-rush counters.
  • Can make a more concerted effort to keep leverage and forward-pressing energy.
  • Doesn’t quite have the elite ankle flexion to pinch rushing angles consistently.
  • Sometimes lacks the hip fluidity to adjust his hip alignment midway through reps.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Murphy carries a top-32 grade on my board and is a first-round prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. Johnny Newton is my DT1 on account of Newton’s similar disruptive ability and superior flexibility, but Murphy is worthy of consideration as early as mid-Round 1.

Early in the cycle, Murphy was sometimes overlooked because of Sweat’s presence. And to be fair, Sweat is a very intriguing on-field prospect in his own right. But Murphy is simply in a different tier with his two-phase ability and over-arching potential, and he’s one of the highest-ceiling disruptors in the 2024 NFL Draft.

MORE: Top 100 Prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft

Murphy has elite explosiveness, twitch, and energy as a rusher despite being 6’1″ and around 308 pounds at his playing weight. He can win pass-rushing reps with his athleticism, heavy hands, and motor, but he also has incredible strength for being primarily a 3-tech.

In run defense, Murphy repeatedly prevents displacement against solo blocks and pullers with his sturdy base, leverage, and anchor. He also has the strength to absorb double-teams and combo blocks, and he can pry through extensions to make tackles in pursuit.

Murphy’s floor as a run defender with his strength, mass, leverage, angle awareness, and movement freedom is already incredibly high, and he has the ceiling to be a devastating pass-rushing threat if he can channel his energy and power capacity more efficiently.


As a prospect, Murphy bears some similarity to Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro defensive lineman Grady Jarrett.

While he lacks elite flexibility, Murphy is a truly ruthless competitor who matches his explosiveness with an invasive, destructive mentality. His leverage, density, strength, and power make him a high-floor, high-ceiling 3-tech with additional alignment flexibility.

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