Caleb Murphy, EDGE, Ferris State | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Ferris State EDGE Caleb Murphy is one of the most dominant defensive players of all time. But does his scouting report suggest his DII skills will translate?

Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft less than a month away, let’s take a look at the scouting report for Ferris State EDGE Caleb Murphy.

Caleb Murphy NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: EDGE
  • School: Ferris State
  • Year: Redshirt Senior

Murphy was a zero-star recruit out of Dowagiac Union High School in Dowagiac, Michigan. Yet, he was quite the athlete. He played football, basketball, and baseball, as well as participated in wrestling and track and field.

Following high school, Murphy was not a heavily recruited prospect. He chose to play college football at Grand Valley State, a Division II school. Unfortunately, Murphy couldn’t get on the field, even at a DII school, redshirting his entire freshman season.

As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Murphy appeared in eight games, recording 13 tackles and one sack.

Not being satisfied with his role at Grand Valley State, Murphy transferred to Ferris State ahead of the 2020 season. However, he didn’t play any games that year as the season was canceled due to COVID.

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Murphy made his Ferris State debut in 2021 and made his presence felt. He was downright dominant, finishing with 63 total tackles, 14.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, and five forced fumbles. He was named GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Ferris State won the DII championship.

Despite having graduated from college, Murphy remained at Ferris State for one more season as a graduate student. He actually had two years of eligibility remaining due to redshirting as a freshman and the COVID rules.

In 2022, Murphy set an NCAA single-season record with 25.5 sacks. He also tied the NCAA record with 39 tackles for loss, helping Ferris State repeat as DII national champions.

Murphy went on to win the Ted Hendricks Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive end. He is the first DII player to ever win the award. He was also given the honor of GLIAC Player of the Year and won the Gene Upshaw Award, which is given to the best DII lineman.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Caleb Murphy

Strengths: Explosive small-school pass rusher with linebacker size. Much more athletic than his numbers would lend one to believe and plays faster than his 40 time. Plays with great balance as well as body control and consistently gets leverage on opponents.

Fires his hands into opponents, displays a variety of moves to get off blocks, and easily bends off the edge. Relentless, chases the action hard, and diagnoses plays. Does more than pin his ears back and rush up the field and slides down the line in pursuit of running plays. Has an explosive nature and plays with a sense of urgency.

Weaknesses: Lacks size and gets knocked around by opponents once they get their hands on him. Can be engulfed at the point of attack. Lacks true linebacker speed.

Overall: Murphy was an incredibly productive small-school pass rusher who totaled 44 tackles for loss and 18 sacks the past two seasons. He works hard to make plays as a pass rusher and run defender, yet Murphy lacks the measurables for any real position on Sundays.

He projects as a pass-rush specialist who can be used out of a three-point stance as well as standing over tackle. Murphy also comes with a special-teams mentality.

Caleb Murphy Combine Measurements and Results

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 254 pounds
  • Arm Length: 32 3/4″
  • Hand Size: 10 1/4″
  • Bench Press: N/A
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.81

Ferris State EDGE Caleb Murphy Current Draft Projection

On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Murphy ranked 249th overall and is projected to go in the seventh round. With a 3.29 grade, he is Pauline’s OLB23 in this class.

Murphy’s college career got off to a very slow start. Between redshirting and COVID, he was only able to play one season during his first three years.

By the time Murphy started producing, he was already much older than most of his competition. Linebacker is very much a position where size and athleticism matter. It is no surprise that Murphy was able to dominate younger, smaller opponents as a redshirt senior.

College production is the most predictive indicator of NFL success. When it comes to small-school or non-FBS prospects, they can’t just produce — they need to be otherworldly dominant. With Murphy, we have exactly that.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

The competition in Division II is obviously far weaker than in Division I. But Murphy completely dominated by setting records and proving he was far and away better than everyone else in DII.

Pauline still projects Murphy to just barely get drafted. Listed as an OLB, he is the last of that group Pauline believes will likely be drafted. Nevertheless, given his seventh-round grade, there’s a chance he is not.

Fortunately, Murphy’s sheer and utter dominance at Ferris State has drawn the attention of NFL scouts and coaches. Given what he was able to do, I would be surprised if there weren’t a few teams willing to take a shot on him, whether in the seventh round or as a UDFA.

At the very least, Murphy should get a chance to work with NFL coaches and compete for a roster spot. While his floor is out of the league within a year or two, given his college performance, his ceiling is likely much higher than that of your typical seventh-rounder/UDFA. Simply earning a spot on an active roster would be a success for Murphy.

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