After a season hit with some injuries to the cornerback position, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar has the Redskins using the 15th overall pick to upgrade the position. Kadar believes that Washington defensive back Byron Murphy is the answer to the Redskins’ cornerback problems.
Murphy would instantly boost the cornerback position, as he would be a great complement to Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar. Byron Murphy is “a speedy corner with great ball skills,” according to Kadar, making him an instant fit with Greg Manusky’s defense.
Murphy had a very impressive collegiate career for the Washington Huskies, despite only playing 20 games. This past season, Murphy’s redshirt-sophomore year, he played in all of Washington’s 14 games and was named first-team All PAC-12. Despite a slightly smaller height at 5-foot-11, or 6-foot depending on who you ask, Murphy was able to defend taller receivers and make a big difference on the defensive side of the ball.
In the 2018 season, Murphy recorded 58 total tackles and was able to get into the backfield, getting four tackles for loss. Murphy proved to be lock-down at defending the pass getting four interceptions and 13 passes defensed. Murphy returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown against Utah, which was the go-ahead touchdown for the Huskies in the PAC-12 Championship game. Murphy would go on to be named the PAC-12 Championship game MVP. Murphy also forced one fumble this past season.
In Murphy’s redshirt-freshman season he showed great potential and was one of the conference’s best cornerbacks. Unfortunately for Murphy, he only played in six games that season, as a broken foot made him miss the middle portion of the Huskies’ season. In the six games that he played, Murphy had 16 total tackles with three of them being for a loss, one of which was a sack in the Fiesta Bowl against Penn State. Murphy had two interceptions, seven passes defensed and forced one fumble in the 2017 season.
In 2016, Murphy sat out for the entire year while being redshirted. That season the Huskies named defensive scout team MVP and he won the Ultimate “Locos Perros” Award for his work in the weight room.
According to his Draft Network profile, Murphy “is an elite prospect who can plug into just about any system at play at a high level. Murphy has surreal mobility and polish for a younger prospect. His explosiveness, ball skills and route recognition skills make him a great fit to play in both shallow and short zones. Murphy would have little issue stepping up and filling on the boundary or contesting shallow throws in front of his face. Murphy has the upside to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL by the end of year 3.”