Sunday, 28 March 2010

POTD: Jerome Murphy, CB/FS, USF

By Kip Earlywine

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 192 lbs.
40 time: 4.52

  • Fearless and tough. Doesn't shy from contact and makes big hits for a CB
  • Good effort, doesn't quit plays
  • Seems adequate in most areas, no glaring weaknesses
  • Good special teams contributor
  • Is around the ball a lot and has a knack for being at the right place at the right time
  • Durable
  • Experienced
  • Relatively thin frame and (I've read) he can struggle against big WRs
  • Awkward in open field run support
  • Dive tackler who gets a lot of tackles by the skin of his teeth
  • Doesn't really excel or stand out as a CB, and plays a bit more like a safety
  • Speed is just ok, he probably won't excel at special teams as much in the pros
My thoughts:

The video I linked isn't the greatest, but it seems like every other video on Murphy (and there's surprisingly quite a few) is dedicated to his special teams play. When 75% of your youtube tribute videos are dedicated special teams, that almost strikes me as a backhanded compliment. Especially since he's good at special teams but not amazing and with 4.52 speed and a corners body, he doesn't figure to impact special teams too much at the next level.

Murphy is not a bad player. I really respect his effort level and willingness to sacrifice himself in the run game. Even at pro speed, I think he'll be a decent special teamer, although probably just ok as a return man. But as a corner, I just couldn't shake the feeling that Murphy looks like a "preseason hero" to me (think Nick Reed). I do think he has a future in the NFL, but its likely as a backup DB and special teams player.

The player he reminds me of the most is Jordan Babineaux. Like Babs, Murphy is 6'0", and plays a bit more like a safety (very aggressive style) than a corner (who tend to be more finesse). Babs outweighs Murphy by 14 lbs, but Murphy easily has the frame to add that kind of weight. Babs is not a good corner, but he is an adequate free safety, and similarly, I could see a switch to FS in Murphy's future. Like Babs, Murphy is often involved in big plays for his Southern Florida squad and seems to come up big when it matters. I don't know if this is a skill, but I have to at least commend both players for their effort level and never quitting on plays. And last, Babs is not a terrible tackler, but he sometimes can be awkward in the open field running game (remember Frank Gore's two huge runs last year?). I see a similar awkwardness watching Murphy stammer as he reads and anticipates an approaching running back.

I think most Seahawks fans are happy with Babineaux's career. So should we be happy if the team drafts Murphy?

Maybe not. After all, he's just like Babs, and despite the fact that it feels like Babs has been here an eternity, he's only 27 and has stayed healthy. We don't really need another Babineax- we need a starting caliber corner, or at least a free safety good enough to scare Babs for his job. Murphy is not likely either of those things. If he's still there in round 6, I'd personally consider him worth taking for special teams and depth, but he'll be gone long before then. Of course, it wouldn't shock me if Seattle considered him earlier than that.

Murphy is currently scheduled to meet with 8 NFL teams for private workouts. Three NFC West teams, including Seattle, are among them. He might be a player to keep an eye on.

Expect him to be drafted in... Rounds 2-4

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