Nine at #9: Scouting Byron Murphy

| April 2nd, 2024

Over the next few days, my hope is to detail the names and faces behind a few of my favorite options for Chicago at #9 overall.

Today, we’ll kick off the miniseries with a cut-up of University of Texas 3-Technique Byron Murphy II, whose tape I imagine will make Matt Eberflus jumping out of his chair. We know Eberflus wants an explosive 3-Tech in the middle of his defense, and that’s exactly who Murphy is — a disruptive playmaking machine with experience across the entire defensive interior.

When Murphy flashes, he flashes. At times, Murphy’s combination of lower-body power and dynamic hand-usage makes him look unblockable while rushing the passer. Check out the first 4 clips of the cut-up below — his offensive linemen barely stop his momentum en route to the quarterback. At times, they don’t even get a hand on him.

The Tape:

The Athlete:

Athletically speaking, Murphy is quite short in stature but excellent in most other measurable categories. His 10 yard split & broad/vertical jumps are great signals for his explosiveness, but Murphy’s weight also stands out to me — weighing at 297lbs at the combine (and listed at 308 on Texas’ official website), Murphy stayed away from being a size outlier and instead registers as ‘pretty small’. In a league that’s moving closer and closer to 280lb 3-techniques every day, I think the extra 10-15lbs he’ll to carry compared to other defenders of similar quickness will be a major advantage for him in run defense.

Pros & Cons:


  • Unique blend of quickness and lower-body power makes Murphy a nightmare pass-rusher for interior defenders
    • His balance as a rusher impresses me, he’s not easy to knock down. Good at keeping his feet just enough to force the QB to move off his spot.
  • Snappy hand usage makes latching onto him extremely difficult when he’s pass-rushing.
  • Plays extremely low, naturally digs deep into the ground. Leverage-winner.
  • Motor runs hot, doesn’t know a speed other than full-speed.
  • Creative when attacking double-teams while rushing the passer, often finds ways to break through
  • Capable as a run-defender, especially when battling single-lineman. Often establishes control of his man easily & can range from one gap to the other.
  • Only 21-years-old, so his best is yet to come.
  • Plays a key role in Eberflus’ defense.


  • Struggles against double-teams in the run game, can be easily moved at times.
  • Part of a heavy rotation at Texas, only played 44% of snaps for the Longhorns in 2023.
  • Given his frame, how much room is there for him to grow?
  • Not a finisher as a pass-rusher, lacks the bend to follow QBs as they slip out of his rush path.
  • At times he’s overly reliant on his athleticism — he can always serve to improve technically

Your Turn: What are your thoughts on Byron Murphy II?

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