*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Some Teams Believe Murphy to be Top-20 PickUpdated April 16, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
The 2019 NFL Draft class is known to not be a strong class at cornerback, but one prospect who is enjoying a late rise is Washington cornerback Byron Murphy. Over the weekend, one team source from a team with a top-20 pick told WalterFootball.com that Murphy is one of the players in the running for their pick. They also believe that Murphy could be the first cornerback drafted, over LSU’s Greedy Williams and Georgia’s DeAndre Baker. After hearing that, WalterFootball.com reached out to sources from other teams, and they echoed those same thoughts.
One general manager said they agreed with Murphy being the first corner off the board and having a shot at going in the top 20. Another general manager said they had Murphy and Williams virtually tied in their grades, but Williams’ personal make-up hurt him somewhat. Two other top executives agreed that Murphy could go before the playoff teams pick and ahead of the other two corners.
“I could see [Murphy going first] because of the ball skills where he can get you the ball back and has better character than the other two,” said one director of college scouting. “Baker and Williams are physically better in my opinion, but just have lower level character.”
A lot of evaluators believe that Murphy is a safe pick. They like his cover skills and polish with excellent grooming from his defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, a former NFL defensive backs coach with Tampa Bay. They like that Murphy can play outside or inside, zone or man, is instinctive, and has ball skills. On top of all of that, teams like his character.
Every year, there are some surprising top-20 picks during the NFL Draft, with some players going higher than others who received more media hype. Murphy could be a candidate for that in 2019 based on conversations with multiple team sources.