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We have looked at several South Florida defenders during our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile series. Shoot, it's enough to make you wonder how anyone ever scored against that team.
Today, we look at one more member of that impressive defense. Cornerback Jerome Murphy, a 6-foot, 196-pound player with plenty of skill, and plenty of questions about his effort and character.
Let's take a closer look.
Jerome Murphy Scouting Reports
From Draft Countdown.
Ideal height and bulk ... Excellent athleticism ... Good speed and acceleration with a burst ... Transitions well thanks to fluid hips and quick feet ... Is tough and physical ... Gets a great jam at the line ... A willing and able tackler ... Does a fantastic job against the run ... Nice instincts and awareness ... Soft hands ... Decent ball skills ... Inconsistent ... Maturity Issues and Character Concerns.
Served a suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules in 2009 --- Was actually benched at one point in 2009 for poor play --- Saw action at safety in college and could conceivably project to the position in the pros as well --- Has all of the physical tools to be a starter at the next level but needs to be more consistent and focused.
Murphy was a productive two-year starter for the Bulls. He is a tall, lean secondary defender with deceptive strength. He is a tough hardnosed perimeter defender who lacks great quickness and speed to play out on an island in man coverages. Murphy is a physical corner who can jam and reroute receivers off the line of scrimmage and he's a solid run support defender. He is an instinctive player who leverages the ball well in coverage as well as maintaining proper body positioning defending the run. He can be inconsistent in block protection and wrapping up in the open field, but he is very aggressive for the cornerback position. Murphy is a good football player who has some limitations but should contribute as a rookie in a Cover 2 defensive scheme.
From the National Football Post.
A tall, explosive athlete who possesses the speed to turn and run with receivers downfield, Murphy showcases a good initial burst out of his breaks and can close quickly when he keeps his feet under him. But he isn't balanced or flexible in his drop and has a tendency to drift out of his breaks when trying to change directions and gives up too much room underneath. He struggles to consistently find the ball when his back is to the play and isn't the most instinctive corner. He lacks ideal ball skills and struggles to secure the grab. He looks more like a Cover 2 guy and lacks the balance and overall instincts to play man coverage at the next level.
Why Murphy fits with the Giants
I think it's a pretty safe bet that Giants General Manager Jerry Reese will draft at least one cornerback in an effort to improve the depth at that position, especially with Aaron Ross coming off an injury-plagued season. It is also a pretty safe bet that new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will play a healthy amount of Cover 2, since that is his background. Thus, Murphy's skills fit the scheme Fewell is most likely to implement.
Why the Giants should pass
Two reasons. 1. The character concerns. Inconsistent effort and off-the-field issues are always a red flag. 2. The questionable man-coverage skills. I don't care what the primary scheme is, corners who can't play man coverage are a liability in the secondary.