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NFL Draft 2019 scouting report: Byron Murphy brings alpha dog mentality to cornerback position

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Taking a look at Byron Murphy and his potential fit with the Oakland Raiders

NCAA Football: North Dakota at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Measurables

5’11”, 190 lbs

40-yd Dash: 4.55 seconds

Bench Press: 14 reps

Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches

Broad Jump: 120.0 inches

Stats

2017: 16 tackles, 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended

2018: 58 tackles, 4 interceptions, 13 passes defended

Awards

2018: All-Pac-12 First Team

2018: Pac-12 Championship MVP

2018: Bednarik Award Semifinalist

2018: Second-Team All-American

Strengths

Alpha dog mentality that is visible when he is on the field. Ability to take over a game, evidenced by the Pac-12 Championship game where he recorded two interceptions, one for the game winning touchdown. Great instincts that help make up for lack of size and speed, ‘football IQ’ is through the roof. Ball-hawk, fluid hips and agility help him break on the ball and make plays. Because of this intelligence and quick twitch ability, excels in zone coverage.

Weaknesses

His height leaves a little to be desired as he is not quite 6’ tall, and he could serve to add some weight (although that should come with better training at the professional level). Shown by his 4.55 40-yard dash time, his overall speed is in question. Due to his lack of pure speed, he gets beat and uses hands to stay in reach, will get flagged a lot if that doesn’t change.

Verdict

Perhaps slightly undersized according to many, Murphy plays as if he is not. He is tenacious and competitive, and would be a welcome addition to any secondary. Not only does he excel in coverage, he enjoys making plays in run support and playing at 190 makes that even easier. Murphy is clearly a first round talent, and will likely see his name called on the first day.

Pro Comparison

Casey Hayward

Fit with Raiders

With Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley as the incumbents and Nevin Lawson the newcomer, the Raiders cornerback situation is not as bad as it once was. Regardless, the defense as a whole is so bad that the team needs to add talent wherever possible. Murphy would match well with Conley as one of Conley’s glaring weaknesses is his tackling.

Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther likes confusing opponents with a myriad of different looks, Murphy being a cerebral player will give Guenther another weapon to use. If the Raiders are able to add Murphy later in the first round, they would be getting a player who could start right away, either opposite of Conley or in the nickel.

Also see: Raider Draft Radar: Cornerbacks