The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL draft.
A team can never have enough talented pass rushers and the Green Bay Packers are in dire need of more playmakers off the edge.
With Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, and Kingsley “JJ” Enagbare the Packers have a solid trio on paper.
Gary may or may not miss the beginning of the upcoming season as he recovers from a torn ACL. Smith will be 31 in November and could be playing in his final season in Green Bay. Enagbare proved to be a solid rotational piece during his rookie season.
An edge rusher that the Packers could target in the first round is Myles Murphy. The Clemson prospect checks in at No. 35 in the Unpacking Future Packers countdown.
A five-star recruit out of Georgia, Murphy recorded 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks during his first season on campus. During his sophomore season, Murphy recorded 14.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. This past season the Clemson edge rusher recorded 40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks.
“Myles Murphy’s 2022 season was a good one, but it doesn’t represent all he is capable of as a player,” Alex Turri, the editor for ClemsonWire.com said. “Two of his biggest games came when the Tigers needed them most, with big performances against then No. 10 NC State and Florida State. Murphy earned 1st team All-ACC honors for a reason, and his stats don’t truly speak of how impactful the defensive end was for Clemson this season.”
Murphy was But. 3 he Bruce Feldman’s annual freaks list. He didn’t test at the scouting combine or Clemson’s pro day, but he did show off his strength by putting up 25 reps on the bench press.
“By far Murphy’s greatest strength is his freakish athleticism,” Turri said. “Although Murphy hasn’t shown this yet during the draft process, missing the 2023 NFL scouting combine and the Tigers 2023 pro day due to injury, everyone knows how stellar of an athlete Murphy is. Murphy is one of the top athletes in the 2023 class with a great frame at 6’5, 275. The man is an athlete, and while he does have some refining to do in his game, teams love athletic pass rushers.”
At 6’5″, 268 pounds with good length, Murphy looks the part of an NFL edge rusher. Murphy is a strong run defender. He plays with a lot of power and is strong at the point of attack. At times it looks like he’s blasting through blocks like a knife cuts through cake.
He plays like his hair is on fire and a motor that runs hot. That frenetic playstyle combined with his power can overwhelm offensive tackles. The Georgia native has good range as a run defender, showcasing the ability to hunt down ball carriers as a backside defender. He was a disruptive force against the run that made a living in the opponents’ backfield. Murphy finished his career at Clemson with 36 tackles for loss.
“It is discussed less than his pass-rushing prowess, probably because of his position, but Murphy is an outstanding run defender,” Turri said. “According to PFF, Murphy posted a 92.5 run defense grade in his true freshman season, which led the entire nation. The best in the country as a freshman playing at a powerhouse program such as Clemson? Yeah, I’d say he’s a pretty dang good run defender. The young defensive end has long arms, the strength to bully a run blocker, and the speed to slip off blocks easily. His incredible athleticism helps make him elite in pursuit of ball carriers. Murphy is relentless as a run defender.”
The Clemson pass rusher uses his long arms to get into the chest of offensive tackles and does a good job of converting speed to power. His calling card as a pass rusher is his bullrush. Once he gets into the chest of offensive tackles, he’s able to walk them straight back into the quarterback. The Clemson edge rusher finished the season with 34 pressures to go along with his 6.5 sacks.
“Although Murphy is somewhat raw as a pass rusher, he wins in multiple ways in pass-rushing situations,” Turri said. “The most dominant move in his arsenal is his elite spin move off the edge, which, combined with his fantastic speed, makes him dangerous. From a speed standpoint alone, you’ll find situations where Murphy simply beats an offensive tackle by beating them off the jump and bolting past them. While speed is the true killer piece of his pass rushing, Murphy also wins as a pass rusher by taking advantage of his tremendous strength. For many prospects, you may see them labeled as purely speed rushers or power rushers, but Murphy has both in his arsenal.”
Fit with the Packers
Green Bay’s pass rush needs a jolt. They also need to shore up their leaky run defense. Hello, Myles Murphy.
The Clemson edge rusher is strong against the run and has all the tools in the shed to develop into a terror off the edge as a pass rusher.
“I would be drafting Murphy anywhere from pick No.5 to pick No.12,” Turri said. “I understand there is a chance he falls further than No.12; I just think it would be foolish for some of these teams to pass up on the ceiling of a guy like Murphy. The young defensive end is just 21 years old and has every single tool you look for in an elite pass rusher. From my perspective, if you pass up on a guy like this, you fully admit that you don’t trust your coaching staff to develop players. Murphy has speed, power, skill, and much more room to grow as a pass rusher. Murphy is everything you want in a prospect. He may end up being the steal of the 2023 NFL draft.
Murphy has a nice blend of quickness and strength. With his ability to make splash plays against the run and get after the quarterback, Murphy would be the ideal selection with the 15th overall pick.
Murphy could start opposite Smith if Gary isn’t ready to start the season. Once Gary is back, Murphy could take a backseat. A future duo of Gary and Murphy would put a lot of stress on the NFC North offensive tackles.
Freaky athleticism. He’s only 21 years old. He plays a premium position. Yep, that’s a future Green Bay Packer. If Murphy is still on the board when the Packers are on the clock with the 15th overall pick, expect him to be the pick on April 27th.