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Can Myles Murphy elevate the Bengals’ pass rush in his rookie season?

The Bengals’ first-round pick can help the defense get to the quarterback, but it will take time and patience.

Syndication: The Enquirer Liz Dufour/Cincinnati Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Bengals showed the team's goal during the draft was to help boost the defensive side of the football.

With fan favorite Michael Mayer still available for the Bengals selection, the team went with defense, selecting Myles Murphy instead.

Myles Murphy

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 275
  • College: Clemson
  • Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
  • Experience: Rookie

Rookie Contract Numbers:

  • Total value: $12,587,262 million
  • Signing bonus: $6,154,372 million
  • 2023 cap hit: $2,288,593 million


The Bengal 2023 first round pick played his high school football at Hillgrove High School.

Murphy was a top-five national recruit who earned Freshman All-America honors in 2020 and a fourth-team All-American selection from Phil Steele in 2021.

During his time at Clemson, Murphy majored in construction science and management.

In his final season (2022) at Clemson, Murphy was tabbed a first-team All-ACC selection, second-team All-ACC honoree by the AP, and third-team All-ACC selection by Phil Steele.

In 2022, Murphy finished the season with 45 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, a team-high-tying 6.5 sacks, three pass breakups, and a forced fumble in nearly 600 defensive snaps over 13 games.

Murphy was ranked the 33rd best player in college football for the 2022 season by ESPN.

NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein discussed Murphy’s game heading into the draft, “Murphy has excellent size/traits and has been consistently productive in impact categories for three straight years. He plays with a plus motor and good first-step quickness, but his game isn’t really twitchy or explosive. He has finishing talent when he’s inside the pocket, but he needs to vary his rush angles and find an effective inside counter, as NFL tackles will be expecting his long-arm bull-rush technique. Murphy’s length and post-up strength could provide the scheme and positional versatility that puts him on every draft board. The traits and upside are there, but his skill level needs a boost to push the ceiling higher.”

2023 Season Expectations:

Thus far, Murphy has had a so-so showing in training camp and the preseason, though it was expected since he still needs plenty of fine-tuning before he can truly harness his immense physical gifts at the NFL level. So while he may not make a lot of noise early on in his rookie year, Murphy is still fully capable of making a significant impact on this defense as the season wears on.

Murphy lines up as a RDE, so he will likely serve as Trey Hendrickson’s backup on the right side and will be an instant boost for the pass rush in the rotation.

The Bengals defense finished in the bottom five last season in sacks and will need to flip the script if the team hopes to get back to the Super Bowl.

During Murphy’s college career, his 2021 season was statistically better than 2022, with 14.5 TFL in 2021 and 11 in 2022. Also, Murphy posted eight sacks in 2021 and 6.5 sacks in 2022.

With his freaky speed and athleticism off the edge, the Bengals will be looking for his game to reach new levels under one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, Lou Anarumo.

Roster Odds: 100%

With the struggles last season getting to opposing quarterbacks, the first round pick is a lock to make the final roster and help in the pass-rushing rotation Week 1.