Trent Murphy – Linebacker
Murphy is a fifth-year senior from Mesa, Arizona. He is a three-year starter at outside linebacker, and in the Stanford scheme, he really plays a combination OLB/DE. He lines up from both a two-point and three-point stance.
Listed as being 6’6 – 261, Murphy is bigger than your prototypical OLB. On tape, he looks to be a good athlete. While he has smooth movement, I don’t see explosive quickness and power. He plays with good, not great, strength. He has average speed for the position, and I would estimate he runs in the 4.8 area.
Murphy has put up some outstanding numbers to date this year with 45 tackles, including 18 for loss and 12 sacks. In the three games I viewed (USC, Oregon, UCLA), I did not see that type of production in his play. While he is very consistent and plays hard, I didn’t that all that many "big" plays.
Murphy has good initial quickness and stays low. He can get his hands on his opponent quickly and shows the hand use to shed blocks. He has good instincts and finds the ball. I wouldn’t call him a disrupter versus the run, but he does make plays. He is a very steady player who, while not flashy, at the end of the day, you see makes a lot of plays. As a pass rusher, he gets off the ball with good quickness. He is not an explosive pass rusher, but he knows how to put moves together and goes snap-to-whistle. He is smart, and you seldom see him break contain. He is used some in pass coverage and is best in zone. He has a good drop and shows a feel in coverage, but he lacks the explosive quickness that you would prefer an OLB to have.
Murphy is a bit of a tweener, big for an OLB and small for a DE. His workouts will have a lot to say about where he gets drafted. In watching three games, I still don’t have a really good feel for this player, so I need to watch more tape. Right now, I see him as a “B” level player (third – fourth round), but he could be better. His best fit is a 3-4 OLB, but there are some 4-3 schemes in the league he could play in. I will update this report as I see more tape.