How Would Texas’ Byron Murphy II Fit In New-Look Miami Dolphins Defense?

The Miami Dolphins could complete a fearsome defensive front by taking Texas' Byron Murphy II with the 21st pick. But do they have more pressing needs?

Even after losing Christian Wilkins, Chris Grier has done enough work this offseason that defensive tackle is a luxury, not a need, for the Miami Dolphins this offseason.

It would probably take a special talent sitting there at 21 for Grier to go defensive line over offensive line. Does Texas’ Byron Murphy II meet that threshold? He certainly has all the skills to be a game-changing defensive tackle.

Miami Dolphins Draft Preview: Get To Know Texas DT Byron Murphy II

The Basics

Age: 21
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 308 pounds
Current year: Junior
PFN Big Board Ranking: No. 21 overall, No. 2 DT

Why He’s a First-Round Talent

If you’re a box score watcher, Murphy probably doesn’t move the needle. He had just eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 34 collegiate games.

So why was he a second-team All-American and the Big 12’s top defensive lineman of 2023? His disruptive impact went far beyond the top line of a stat sheet. While Murphy didn’t have a ton of sacks, he had an insane 45 pressures his junior year.

Asked at the NFL Scouting Combine how he was able to put that much heat on opposing quarterbacks, Murphy responded:

“First, I’ll say just having the mindset of just being, ‘Can’t be stopped, won’t be stopped.’ And just doing my best just to try to be disruptive at all times. Just trying to get after the quarterback, just rushing at all times each and every play – just going hard, just giving 110% with great effort.”

How He Would Fit in Miami

Murphy could probably play anywhere on the defensive line in Anthony Weaver’s odd-man front except nose tackle.

Murphy, combined with Zach Sieler, Jaelan Phillips, and Bradley Chubb on passing downs, would be downright scary.

“I like the 4-3 scheme, I feel like I’m a 4-3 guy,” Murphy said. “But I can also play whatever scheme any team wants me to play in.”

Writes PFN draft analyst Ian Cummings in Murphy’s scouting profile:

“Murphy has elite explosiveness, twitch, and energy as a rusher despite being 6’1″ and 308 pounds. 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.”

Not Sweating a Change

If Murphy joins the Dolphins, he’ll go from one loaded defensive front to another. He and T’Vondre Sweat were a dynamic duo in Austin.

And while Sweat got more accolades as an undergrad, Murphy is expected to go before his teammate in the draft.

“Playing next to T’Vondre, you know, obviously first, I just wanna say it was a blessing, you know, just to play with him,” he said. “Playing with a guy like that, he makes it easier for me, and I also make it easier for him. Each and every day, we just pushed each other, trying to be great. We competed every day, and we also took a big step, a big role, in leading the defensive line. I feel like we led ‘em in the right way.”

Historic High School

DeSoto (Texas) High School — Murphy’s alma mater — is a football factory.

The suburban Dallas enclave has produced some 20 NFL players, including Jalen Mills, Laviska Shenault, and Von Miller.

KEEP READING: Why Miami Is So Important to Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

“Just watching Von, same hometown, watching him go from DeSoto to [Texas] A&M to the NFL, he just motivated me as well,” Murphy said. “And also, I feel like he set the foundation at DeSoto, so he’s one of the guys that created the pipeline. It really all started with him. I’m just blessed to have a guy like that, an alumni like that as well.”

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