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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Gabriel Murphy (DE – UCLA)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Gabriel Murphy (DE – UCLA)

As the college football season barrels toward, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Gabriel Murphy.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Gabriel Murphy

Gabriel Murphy (DE – UCLA)

6-foot-3 | 260 pounds

Background:

Originally attended North Texas, where he spent three seasons. Was on the field for just three snaps in 2019 before redshirting, then started two of seven games played the following year, totaling 18-4.5-4.5. Started all thirteen games of the 2021 season and went 53-12.5-7.5. Transferred to UCLA and stepped into the starting lineup there, with 38-4.0-1.5 last season. Is currently having a much more productive senior campaign.

Positives:

Three-year starter who made his final season his most impressive. Thickly-built stand-up linebacker. Competitive player with a good work rate and a physical temperament. Primarily a one-gap disruptor, but is capable of getting extension and setting a hard edge in the run game, with adequate knee-bend. Functional strength looks good. Flashes solid contact balance and anchor strength and has the ability to split the occasional double-team. Smooth mover in pursuit. Length gives him a good tackling radius.

Looks relentless as a pass-rusher. Has impressive suddenness to work the swim move when coming off the edge. Shows the ability to set up opposing blockers effectively, with good short-area quickness and active hands. Able to get low and work the rip move to slither past opposing tackles. Bends a smooth arc to the ball carrier/passer when he gets past his man.

Negatives:

Balance issues crop up more often than they should for a player with his build, as he can play out of control at times. Tries to work around the edge a bit too often rather than setting the edge and funneling runners back inside. Often prevents blockers from getting into his pads but could shed more quickly when he’s successfully engaged. Could break down more consistently in the run game. Has a tendency to get out over his skis, leading to slips as he tries to work around the edge. Can get too much depth with his initial rush and struggle to redirect back to the passer. Doesn’t look like the most fluid coverage linebacker.

Summary:

An intriguing prospect who combines a thick build, plenty of short-area quickness, active hand use, a relentless motor, and a tough temperament, but who has some inconsistencies to his game at the moment. It sometimes looks like he’s playing too aggressively, leading to issues with balance or missed tackles. With increased patience and discipline, however, has the tools to play at the next level. Physical profile is a fit for a two-gap scheme, but style of play looks more suited to a one-gap defense.

Projection: Round 3-4

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