Arizona Cardinals seeking more from Byron Murphy in 2020
The 33rd-overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft will be looking to play much better in his second season with the Arizona Cardinals
The 2019 campaign must have been an extremely difficult one for the Arizona Cardinals Byron Murphy. The club’s 21-year old rookie was essentially thrown to the wolves, thanks to some unfortunate circumstances that surrounded the Cards at the cornerback position. His first year as a professional was basically a trial by fire for Murphy, who took plenty of lumps at one of the toughest spots to play in the NFL.
With that incredibly challenging season now behind him, Murphy should expect a significantly smoother ride this coming fall. Eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, who was suspended for the first six games of 2019, is set to resume his role as the squad’s number-one cover guy. Veteran Robert Alford, who signed a free agent contract with Arizona last offseason, is coming back from a fractured tibia that sent him to the injured-reserve list last summer.
Now that both Peterson and Alford have returned to the top of the Cardinals depth chart, a good amount of the pressure that Murphy felt a year ago should be alleviated. Being thrown into the starting lineup when you have zero pro experience to fall back on must have been tremendously daunting. Could the reduced responsibility translate into a more productive sophomore campaign for the former University of Washington youngster?
Despite having the deck stacked against him for a good portion of ’19, Murphy managed to hold his own at times as a first-year performer. The 5’11,190 pounder’s 10 passes defensed led all Cards defenders. Murphy also racked up 78 tackles, and managed to record his first career interception during a November 10th loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Arizona’s front office had high hopes when they drafted Murphy with the 33rd-overall choice, and nothing has changed in that regard. With 16 contests now under his belt, the Cardinals coaching staff believes that the Scottsdale native will only get better. It’s now up to Murphy to prove them right.