5 Bengals newcomers that could surprise fans in 2023

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4. Myles Murphy

At first glance, having first-round pick Myles Murphy on a list of newcomers who could surprise fans seems counterintuitive. However, Murphy’s skillset is being talked about as something it is not. 

The former Clemson Tiger is not a “sack master.” The closest he came to getting double-digit sacks in college is eight. Nevertheless, if he can convert some of his college pressures into sacks in the NFL, he would be the surprise and steal of the first round. 

At one point, Murphy was thought of as a sure top 10 prospect, just behind Will Anderson.

Something happened along the way that made Murphy fall in the scouts’ rankings. One theory is that while he gets pressure, his sack numbers aren’t what you would expect from a pure pass rusher. This is reminiscent of when Carl Lawson was in Cincinnati. Lawson, the now New York Jets defensive end, made quarterbacks feel the heat, but couldn’t consistently bring them down. 

Another reason Murphy fell could be that his pressure numbers did not end up there with the best either.

The expectation for Murphy should be that he can become an excellent overall defensive end in the mold of Sam Hubbard, but not a pass rush specialist.

However, Murphy has all of the physical tools to grow into the pass rush type who we could expect to get double-digit sacks every season. He displayed his potential on several occasions, but never consistently. If he can find his Top-10 form that had scouts salivating this time last year, Murphy could surprise the entire NFL world.