2. Byron Murphy – CB
A lot of draft pundits had Murphy as their top cornerback in the class entering last week’s draft. Although he wasn’t drafted in the first, he’s been compared to five cornerbacks that have earned Pro-Bowl nods throughout their careers.
Murphy has been known to be a prototypical zone coverage cornerback due to his burst, technical refinement, size, and ball-hawking abilities. All five the cornerbacks that were compared to him share the same trait. However, the Asante Samuel, a former four-time Pro Bowler, All-Pro selection, and two-time Super Bowl starter may be the most accurate.
Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire had this to say about his comparison;
"like Samuel, who excelled through 11 seasons with the Patriots, Eagles, and Falcons, Murphy brings an elevated sense of where the ball is to jump routes and make fools of quarterbacks."
Samuel may not be a Hall of Famer yet, and he may never be inducted, but that’s an extraordinarily kind, yet close comparison. Both are under 6-feet tall and aren’t the most athletically gifted cornerbacks, but they more than make up for it in their ball-skills, ability to read quarterbacks; their astute understanding of zone coverage make them real threats to QB’s everywhere.
As for the modern day comparison, Kyle Fuller is another very similar player, as both share a similar frame and a hard-hitting mentality. Even better; both have the game to play inside or out at a high-level. In 2019, Fuller earned an All-Pro nod, his 81.4 Pro Football Focus grade ranks seventh amongst eligible cornerbacks.