Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Does Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy have a 2023 NFL Draft scouting report worthy of early first-round hype? Let's dive into the tape and find out.

The tape naturally draws attention to the 2023 NFL Draft scouting report of Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy. There are flash plays that do well to encapsulate his maximum potential. Few edge rushers have the composite combination of explosiveness, size, strength, power, and agility that Murphy does. But evaluation is about more than just traits. What does Murphy have beyond that, and what kind of player can he become?

Myles Murphy NFL draft profile

At Clemson, Murphy is a construction science and management major and has long-term aspirations to become an architect. As a matter of fact, he already has pre-existing experience as an architect — just not of buildings, streets, or walkways. For his entire football career, Murphy has been an architect of defensive dominance. That’s an impact he carries to this day.

In high school, Murphy accumulated 17.5 sacks and 35 tackles for loss in his final two seasons. He was a consensus five-star recruit in the 2020 class and the seventh overall player on 247 Sports‘ board. Interestingly enough, he was just six spots behind his future teammate and the No. 1 overall prospect, Bryan Bresee.

Both Bresee and Murphy joined the Clemson Tigers out of high school, and together, they generated immediate production across the 2020 campaign. As a true freshman, Murphy put up 37 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, and three forced fumbles. The following season, he took things a step further, producing 14.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles, and two pass deflections.

Production has never been out of reach for Murphy, but 2022 is his chance to become a dominant force on the college football stage. He’s well on his way to doing just that.

  • Position: EDGE
  • School: Clemson
  • Current Year: Junior
  • Height/Weight: 6’5″, 275 pounds

Myles Murphy scouting report

Murphy has produced everywhere he’s been, but draft evaluation doesn’t end at production. Does Murphy have the dual-sided talent and technical ability to be a first-round prospect? And how high can he rise in the early-round range?

Murphy’s positives

If you want an edge rusher with tools, Murphy has them. At 6’5″, 275 pounds, Murphy has an extremely strong, well-proportioned, compact frame with great length. And with that size, he’s an explosive athlete with a torrid first step. The Clemson EDGE can accelerate quickly into the backfield with powerful strides. At times, he shows off near-elite acceleration capacity for his size, particularly when he has a runway to quicken his feet.

Going further, Murphy can hit an intense second gear when he has an open lane to close on his target. He also has high-end lateral burst, which he can use to pressure angles off the snap. The Clemson EDGE can cover eye-catching amounts of ground with his lateral explosions. With his brand of athleticism, he’s extremely dangerous on stunts. He can use lateral twitch and burst to explode into gaps and exploit angles.

While Murphy’s athleticism is superb, his best trait might be his power. The Clemson EDGE has elite power capacity with his length, short-area burst, and frame density. His burst and length, in particular, allow for rare displacement potential. With his power capacity, Murphy can blast blockers back off the snap and pave open lanes.

Murphy generates consistent movement with his power, and his extensions are extremely forceful. On some reps, he instantly pinches the pocket and erases lanes to step up. Murphy’s power is extremely effective at knocking linemen off-base and opening up windows for successive moves. Additionally, Murphy can quickly reload, re-exert, and roll his hips to drive additional power forward.

Another function of Murphy’s frame is his high-level play strength. The Clemson product has superb hand and upper-body strength. He can wrench down extensions and break anchors with relentless swims and arm-over moves. He uses his upper- and lower-body strength consistently to set the edge in run defense. Murphy can lock out his arms to gain control, then pry blockers away and open up space to make plays. He’s able to extend into his opponent’s torso, then rip down anchors with force.

Strength and power are defining parts of Murphy’s game, but the Tigers star also brings other tools to the table as a pass rusher. He flashes good ankle flexion and can corner around the edge while executing rip moves. He’s able to pinch tight angles and compress the apex while applying targeted hand usage. He also has enough flexibility to redirect rushes and circle back inside as QB’ step up. Moreover, Murphy has flashed the ability to roll his hips through the apex and sink effectively.

Myles Murphy
Nov 6, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive end Myles Murphy (98) lines up against the Louisville Cardinals during the first quarter at Cardinal Stadium. Clemson defeated Louisville 30-24. Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Execution is also a building area of strength for Murphy. As a pass rusher, Murphy visibly expanded his hand usage and counter arsenal as the 2021 season went on. He’s flashed the ability to stack combos across reps. He can use club-rips on top of bull rushes and execute cross-chops around the apex. Furthermore, Murphy is able to long-arm blockers, then club the outside hand violently and rip outside.

Murphy’s hand moves are fast, violent, and forceful, and they can be detailed as well. On swims, Murphy has shown he can complete moves by getting his inside arm back around and violently placing the ice pick in his opponent’s back. These details, while minute, are crucial to the proper utilization of a pass-rush move.

It helps that Murphy can fairly naturally sink his pads and attain proper leverage. The Clemson EDGE can effectively sink under blocks to make plays in pursuit, and he plays with good lean. Moreover, Murphy can generate steady leg drive with a strong base and natural leverage acquisition. He often exerts power with proper leverage and channels burst into contact with good pad level.

Elsewhere, Murphy brings a ton of juice off the snap and plays with a consistently hot motor. He brings relentless energy when chasing down runners, and his unyielding energy in pursuit can help generate turnovers. Murphy has good pursuit speed in space and is a threat to catch runners from behind. In those situations, his length makes him a constant disruptive threat.

Finally, while Murphy shouldn’t be asked to play in coverage often, he has enough athleticism to drop into coverage and cover the flats.

Murphy’s areas for improvement

While Murphy’s hands are trending up, he still has room to improve there. The Clemson EDGE can better employ his hands to capitalize on lateral burst and displacement. He also has room for more consistency when multitasking and using his hands in conjunction with his physical gifts. At times, his hands are too wide on extensions, mitigating power generation. Additionally, he can be over-reliant on bull rushes and long-arms and can more consistently build off of his power generation.

Going further, Murphy comes off the snap late at times and can improve his reaction quickness. He also lacks elite flexibility in his hips. His rushes sometimes die out at the apex, as he can’t consistently tuck below the corner and accelerate through. Murphy has good bend capacity for his size but isn’t elite in that category. Additionally, he doesn’t always show great change of direction in space. With his size, he can be a bit clunky.

Among other things, Murphy sometimes struggles to break anchors and gets locked up on the outside. His length is exceptional and a definite strength, but it might not be quantifiably elite. He can improve his leverage management, as he sometimes drifts up too high with his pad level and gives up leverage. At times, he also pops up too high off the snap and negates leverage early. And lastly, Murphy can be inconsistent reading options and play fakes.

Current draft projection for Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy

Murphy was marked as a potential future first-round pick out of high school. Nothing has changed on that front. Murphy is a clear Day 1 candidate with early-round upside. He has the physical tools to be a blue-chip prospect with more refinement in 2022. And if his linear growth in 2021 is any indication, the Clemson EDGE is trending toward that point.

On his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report, Murphy leaves few boxes unchecked. He has excellent size and length and compounds that size with near-elite explosiveness, lateral burst, power capacity, tremendous play strength, and violent hands. He also brings above-average bend capacity, and as his hand usage keeps improving, he should only become more proficient at maximizing that trait.

Without elite change-of-direction ability or hip flexibility, Murphy likely fits best as an even-front defensive end. He can occasionally play out of two- and three-point looks, but he’s most natural playing in four-point stances. As a defensive end, he can play from 4- to 7-technique, setting the edge and pressuring multiple angles as a pass rusher. But with his size, he could also feasibly stunt inside and rotate around in odd and hybrid fronts.

Murphy’s all-encompassing profile grants him some projected scheme versatility. At the end of the day, he’s an elite physical talent with a phenomenal combination of burst, power, and play strength. At his maximum projection, he can be a game-wrecker — not just on the edge but on the entire defensive line.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @IC_Draft.

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