NAME: Byron Murphy
CLASS: RS Sophomore
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 175 lbs
Speed: Has better burst than long speed. Never had any real trouble running with receivers, so if he can run his 40 yard dash under 4.5 seconds, consider it a win. Displays excellent closing speed. First step to the ball is explosive.
Hip Fluidity/Chang of Direction: Butter smooth hips that allow him to change in any direction with ease. Because of movement skills, can cover a great deal of ground when reading Quarterbacks’ eyes (in zone coverage). Also, possesses lightning quick feet. His mirror and match technique is impressive. Showing the ability to go step for step receivers at the LOS and flip his hips multiple times in one rep.
Ball Skills: Is truly a ball hawk. Quarterbacks must be cautious when throwing to his side of the field (in zone), because he has the instincts to fall off his zone to make plays on the ball. His process in which he finds the ball vertically is text book as well. Reads his man for keys to alert him when he should turn his head and locate the ball. Times where he looks like a receiver when tracking the ball. His tape confirms his ball production.
Press Technique: Displays great timing, hang placement, and physicality in his jam. Understands how to minimize the space between his receivers my maintaining his press through the contact window. Seems plenty strong on film, but he his frame is light. So I wonder how he will fair against bigger receivers at the pro level.
Run Support: More than willing to come up and tackle running backs. Is a decent tackler but occasionally bail out for the ankles. Gets hung up on blocks every now and then as well.
Route Recognition: Consistently identifies route concepts before they develop. Is very good at anticipating his receivers routes, by keying on their tendencies. Thrives in zone coverage because of these skills.
Competitive Toughness: Plays with a “junk yard dog’s” mentality. Is competitive in every part of playing corner. Feisty when he competes for the ball and loves to lay the boom on pass catchers. Oozes a contagious confidence that his teammates respond from as well.
Best Trait: Change of Direction
Worst Trait: Size
Best Film: Utah (PAC 12 Championship 2018)
Worst Film: Auburn (2018)
Byron Murphy is the most complete Corner Back prospect in the 2019 class, He possesses exceptional ball skills, change of direction ability, and can thrive in a variety of schemes. He is undersized though, so some teams might be scared to leave him out an island against bigger receivers. His lack of size never gave him any trouble but that could change at the pro level.
My other concern with Murphy is his speed. He seems plenty fast enough to run with most receivers, yet the NFL is probably going to want him to be a blazer to compensate for his smaller size. His combine testing could be the difference from him being a good prospect or a great prospect. All in all I still think he is going to be a very good starter at the next level (unless he absolutely bomb’s the combine, and I don’t think he will). A zone heavy scheme would be ideal for his skill set but is more than capable in man coverage.
- Crabbs, Kyle. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Byron Murphy.” The Draft Network, 9 Dec. 2018, thedraftnetwork.com/2018/12/09/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-byron-murphy/.