30 for 29: This is the twenty-second in a daily series of looks at 30 prospects the Patriots may consider selecting with the 29th overall pick at the 2014 NFL Draft.
Trent Murphy, Stanford, OLB
6-5, 250 pounds, 12/22/90
Went to high school at Brophy Prep in Phoenix, Arizona and was state discus champion in addition to football and basketball exploits. Was a team captain at Stanford and led the nation in sacks in 2013. Also added six pass breakups, an interception return for a touchdown, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick his senior season. Played all over the front-seven. Was a 2013 consensus All-American, first-team All-American (Walter Camp, AFCA, FWAA, Sporting News, SI.com, ESPN.com), first-team All-Pac 12 and 2012 Butkus Award semifinalist.
TO THE GOOD
Consider this. He’s almost 6-6. He’s got 34-inch arms and oven mitts for hands (11 inches). He also has a 35.5 inch vertical. He had a 6.78 second three-cone – best among outside linebackers. Powerful at the line of scrimmage, a captain and vocal leader. Has versatility and can drop into coverage as well, though not a strong suit. Can get the edge on tackles, flatten out and get to the quarterback with one swoop because of his length.
TO THE BAD
Probably could use more upper-body strength as he gets shocked a bit on initial contact. Plays a bit upright. Was handled well by Notre Dame first-round prospect Zach Martin.
The length, intelligence, versatility and three-cone speed of Murphy definitely makes him an intriguing prospect. Would be a very nice complement in the defensive end rotation and could be a successor one day to Rob Ninkovich if he can get a little stronger up top. It will be interesting to see how much impact this player – who seems very underrated given his production and measurables – develops in the NFL.
Regarded as a second or third-round pick.