No. 3: Byron Murphy
Another junior, Byron Murphy also recently declared for the 2019 NFL Draft. Out of Washington University, Murphy is smaller than both Oruwariye and Mullen at 6-foot-0, 175 pounds. The strength and conditioning coordinator of whichever team he lands on will need to pile on some added muscle and weight prior to the season commencing.
With just two years of college ball under his belt, Murphy had an outstanding 2018 season. He had 58 tackles, including four for a loss, as well as four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He also chalked up 13 pass deflections and one forced fumble.
The Draft Networks scouting report shines a pretty good light on Murphy’s abilities at the position:
"Byron Murphy is an elite prospect who can plug into just about any system and 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."
While on the smaller side, Murphy’s versatility, along with his great mobility and explosiveness will be hard for 49ers and other teams to pass up. Being able to maintain coverage on receivers through his speed will add value to this pick.
Look to see Murphy called in the second or early third round.