The Cincinnati Bengals likely have plenty of players on their minds in the first round this year. They sit at pick No. 28 with quite a few names that they’d be more than happy to see fall to them.
A name they may be hoping falls past where his is projected is Clemson Tigers edge defender Myles Murphy.
At 6-foot-5 and nearly 270 pounds, Murphy had one heck of a showing at the NFL Scouting Combine and his pro day. He has easily worked himself into Round 1 of this year’s draft. He is exactly what defensive coordinators dream of when they think of a defensive end.
Myles Murphy is a DE prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.88 #RAS out of a possible 10.00 after a strong second pro day performance. This ranked 20 out of 1605 DE from 1987 to 2023.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 4, 2023
Assuming official times are close, great score.
Murphy needs to refine his pass-rushing a bit to be more prolific as a sack artist, but he has all the ability to hold his own in the running game. He also will come into the NFL as an adequate pass rusher. He would fit in great with the Cincinnati defense.
The Bengals currently have Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard starting at their edge spots with Joseph Ossai as a rotational pass rusher. However, Murphy could be a long-term starter for cheap on a team that won’t have gobs of money to throw at their defense like these last few seasons.
Hendrickson is under contract until the 2024 season. Cincinnati could part ways with the veteran after this season for $15 million in cap space and only a $2.5 dead cap. This would only come to fruition if Cincinnati absolutely needed the space and Hendrickson had a major regression in 2023.
Murphy could be a potential replacement at that right defensive end spot down the line, but odds are small he will last till the 28th pick. If he does, the Bengals wouldn’t be wrong to take possibly the best player on their board.