The Cincinnati Bengals broke against a long habit and took a defensive end in the first round for the first time since they took Justin Smith in the 2001 NFL Draft.
With that, there are certainly high expectations for Murphy, but it is not the first time he is entering into a situation with high expectations. There is plenty of reason to expect him to succeed when looking at who he is and what got him to this point.
Let’s take a look at five interesting facts about the Bengals’ newest first-round pick.
1. He is a former five-star recruit
Murphy was a highly-rated player coming out of high school, ending up as a five-star defensive line prospect. Several ranking sites had him as the top defensive end in the class. He is the highest-rated player to ever come out of his high school, which also included Bradley Chubb and Evan Engram. In his senior year, Murphy also helped lead his team to the state quarterfinals and their best record in school history.
2. He chose Clemson because their scheme allowed him to stay at DE
Obviously, there are a multitude of reasons, but one of the big desires of Murphy, when he was being recruited, was to stay at defensive end. Several schools wanted to move him inside or have him play more of a hybrid role, whereas Clemson allowed him to stay mostly at defensive end. In Cincinnati, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him move around the line as they like their defensive ends to kick inside sometimes, but he will still be playing the majority of his snaps on the edge like he wants.
3. He has been dedicated to studying opponent film since high school
One of the biggest aspects of being a successful pro is studying tape, being prepared is key to consistent success. There is reason to believe that Murphy is no slouch on this front, as he has been studying film since high school. On his own before games in high school, he would watch the first 10 plays from the opponents’ last three games (30 in total), so that way he would have an idea of how they liked to start games, and he could try to take advantage of their typical script.
4. He has loved drawing since he was young
Since elementary school, Murphy has loved drawing, starting with drawing people and sketching faces. It may not be the standard picture of the star athlete, but his coaches always said he was quiet and never the boisterous type. Before football games in high school, he would draw the first letter of the opposing team, then draw a hawk (his high school’s logo) crashing into it. His love of art also played into his college major and what he wants to do when he graduates from football.
5. He majored in construction science & management and wants to become an architect
Murphy’s love of drawing combines perfectly with his love of math for his dream career after the NFL as an architect. However, he doesn’t want to just be an architect, he wants to combine his third love, football, into it, as his full dream is to be an architect designing NFL stadiums. It is not a very wide field, but if anyone can do it, Murphy seems like a good bit, as he doesn’t seem to give up on his goals very easily.