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2014 NFL Draft Video Breakdown: Trent Murphy sets his sights on NFL quarterbacks

The nation's sack leader in 2013 has a good shot at being the first Stanford player drafted in 2014


- A variety of pass rush moves (swim, bullrush, spin move). Good enough with his hands that he's able to redirect a little bit when his initial momentum is stopped. That's how he gets so many coverage sacks.

- Throws a tight end aside and tackles the running back in the backfield. That's good hand use, awareness and functional strength all in one.

- Big, strong and fast enough to cover some of the bigger tight ends running downfield.

- Not afraid to take on a blocker coming down the line. Stands his ground. Good at keeping an arm free to stop the run even when he's blocked.

- Doesn't quit on a long catch and run out of the backfield by a running back. Fast enough to keep an angle on him even as the RB jukes away from him across some traffic.

- Tries to rip a ball loose from a runner as he comes from behind to help clean up the play. That's a positive to see him follow a play and try and makes something big happen.

- Works hard to beat a tackle across his face on his second sack in this game, and forces a fumble.


- No single indefensible pass rush move. Can get blocked and stay blocked on all of his moves - he has no single move quite like the Dwight Freeney spin move.

- Didn't see him defeat a double team in this game, either on a run play or a pass play. May need to add some weight and strength to do that.

- Not all that great getting off the snap when he has his hand on the ground. More natural moving forward when he's standing up, but struggles a little bit moving backward. Struggled to cover a RB out the backfield a bit.

- First sack he has isn't all that complex or revealing - he just runs past a bad attempt at a block by the left tackle. LTs in the NFL are better than that.

-Not as dominant a pass rusher as his national-sack leader status implies, Most sacks this season were coverage sacks. In a world where Von Miller is the class of 3-4 linebackers, is Murphy good enough to challenge NFL tackles?


Murphy's got great assets all across the board: he's strong enough, he's fast enough, he's mean enough and he makes big plays at big moments. But that's not necessarily enough to say he'll be a destructive force in the NFL right away. Let me put it this way - he's the same height as JJ Watt, had combine numbers similar to JJ Watt and has hands just as big as JJ Watt... but Watt is 40 pounds heavier than Murphy. Is he big enough to not get swamped by the powerful offensive tackles in the NFL? And if you put more weight on him, will he lose his speed? There's still some room to grow with Murphy, but that shouldn't scare an NFL team away from taking him in the 2nd or early 3rd round. He's put too many good things on tape with such minimal negatives that all he needs is a little adjustment to the pro game.