South Florida Senior
PROS: A physical corner that likes contact and works best in press coverage. Can deliver hit and jam receiver off the line. Matches up well with size. Shows good ball skills, plays the ball in the air. Has a natural feel for zone coverage and does a good job keeping things in front of him. Is capable in run support, as he's willing to stick his neck out and deliver hit to ballcarrier. Can make stops in the open field and capable at the point of attack. Shows good closing burst on the ball, and does a good job cutting the legs of the ballcarrier.
CONS: Gives up too much cushion in coverage. Doesn't have good hips and burst and has trouble turning and running with receivers. Needs to improve his backpedal and footwork. Gives too much contact at times. Will take some poor angles at times in run support. Needs to do a better job consistently wrapping up and breaking down in space to make tackles.
OVERVIEW: Is a physical corner with good size and ability in run support. BUt is not quite as good when he's asked to play in man coverage. A two-year starter that had 6 interceptions and 13 pass breakups combined in those years. Also returned kicks during his sophomore year, averaging 24.3 yards per return.
NFL FORECAST: I think Murphy is going to struggle at corner in the pros. I think in a scheme that likes to play a lot of press and/or zone, he can be a functional if not capable nickel corner. BUt I think his future is brightest if he makes a conversion to safety. He will have some lapses in tackling, and he's not the most technically sound tackler on the block, but he's a guy that usually gets the job done. I think he'll have to bulk up a bit more and probably put on another 10-15 pounds of muscle. His feel for zone coverage and ability to play in deep coverage, I think will help him a lot at safety. Not to mention, he's a good enough in coverage that he can cover some recceivers in the slot. I just think a team is setting itself up for disappointment if they try to make him into a starting cornerback. I think he'd be a lot closer to Ahmad Carroll than the quality corner teams envision at that position.
ATL FORECAST: Murphy could compete in Atlanta, and I think in time he could be a good enough safety that he could challenge DeCoud directly for the job. It'd probably take him a year or two adjusting to his new position, but I think if he can bring some ballhawking skills in coverage, he'd have a good shot at unseating DeCoud. In the meantime, he could contribute on special teams. But I don't think he'd add a lot to the Falcons cornerback position. Because although he's big and physical, I don't think he's really an upgrade over anybody they currently have.
VALUE: Murphy as a cornerback is a guy I wouldn't take before the fifth round. But as a safety prospect, I'd take him as high as the third round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
MAN COVERAGE: 2.5
ZONE COVERAGE: 3.5
BALL SKILLS: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.