With the 28th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Myles Murphy out of Clemson. In the months leading up to the draft, Murphy had been discussed as a possible top-10 draft pick but ended up falling to the end of the first round where the Bengals were thrilled to take him with their first-rounder.
Shortly before the draft, Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network wrote this about Murphy:
"Murphy isn’t quite in the blue-chip tier as a prospect, but he’s in the next level down. At his size, with his length and frame density, he brings impressive power capacity, and he knows how to apply it with proper leverage and energy loading. And with that size, Murphy is an incredible athlete, who brings near-elite explosiveness, linear movement speed, and violence with his hands."- Ian Cummings
It was surprising to see Murphy fall to the end of round one but he should fit into this Bengals defense well.
What should Bengals fans expect from Myles Murphy in 2023?
Murphy projects as Trey Hendrickson's backup at RDE and will come in as help for the pass rush. The Bengals defense finished in the bottom five in sacks last year and that has to change if the team wants to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Murphy's 2021 season was superior to his 2022 season as he had more tackles for loss (14.5 vs 11) and sacks (8 vs 6.5). The Bengals are hoping that Lou Anarumo can get him back to that 2021 level.
First-round picks have a lot of pressure on them to make an immediate impact but Bengals fans will want to be more patient with Murphy. He won't be an immediate game-changer but once he figures it out and hits his stride, this Bengals defense is going to be dangerous.