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Joel Klatt: Byron Murphy could be a 'perfect' pick in first round of 2024 NFL Draft

On3 imageby:Grant Grubbs04/02/24

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Spring Standouts | Inside Texas Football

Joel Klatt knows NFL teams shouldn’t sleep on former Texas defensive lineman Byron Murphy II. On Monday, the FOX Sports analyst raved about Murphy’s potential at the next level.

“I really, really like Byron Murphy from Texas. Byron Murphy was in a lot of ways the reason why Texas was back where they were at,” Klatt said. “They had some great players on offense. But, the reason Texas was back and more consistent was that they played more consistent football on the defensive side and, more specifically, at the line of scrimmage. And that’s where Byron Murphy comes in.”

Murphy was a monster in the 2023 campaign, tallying a career-high 29 tackles and five sacks. For his efforts, he was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, a First-Team All-Big 12 member and an All-American by numerous outlets.

While the 6-foot-1, 308-pound standout was unable to push his team to the national championship, he left NFL scouts with a memorable impression in his final game.

“This guy was a man amongst boys this year in college football, virtually unblockable,” Klatt said. “Washington couldn’t block him by the way. [Michael] Penix [Jr.] just had an unbelievable game in that national semifinal. He was manipulating the pocket and getting away from the rush. But, T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy, they were trying to beat Washington single handedly.”

Murphy only recorded three tackles in the Longhorns’ loss against Washington in the Sugar Bowl, but his presence was undeniable. Washington constantly adjusted its offensive schemes to avoid Murphy, and he was still able to destroy plays on multiple occasions.

Byron Murphy II is what NFL teams are looking for

Klatt believes Murphy fits perfectly into the next defensive trend in the NFL.

“I can tell you both with Mike Macdonald, who’s now the head coach in Seattle and Jesse Minter, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Chargers — they start with building a run wall,” Klatt said. “They want to establish depth and a wall on the interior of their defensive line with big strong tackles, and that’s exactly what Murphy is.

“In a copycat nature, where more teams are going to be looking at that and trying to implement that strategy and philosophy, Murphy is a perfect pick. If he gets picked late in the first round, I think it’s a really good one and I think he’s going to be a really solid player in the National Football League.”