The New York Giants pass rush was anemic in 2013 to say the least. Outside of some very good days by the now-departed Justin Tuck against the Washington Redskins, sacks were generally few and far between.
There is reason to hope that reinforcements are coming in the form of a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul and Damontre Moore, however that didn't stop general manager Jerry Reese from looking to free agency to bolster the pass rush, signing defensive end Robert Ayers.
It's still possible, maybe even likely, that the Giants will look to the draft to add pass rushers. The best pass rusher in the nation last year was Stanford's Trent Murphy. Let's look at Murphy with today's NFL Draft prospect profile.
- Highly productive in college (led the nation in sacks)
- Excellent frame for DE
- Tough, aggressive player
- Instinctive and polished rusher
- Explosive at the point of attack
- Can play in space
- Lacks the mass to play with his hand in the dirt every down
- Inexperienced at DE
- Has just average athleticism
- Was surrounded by talent on Stanford's defense. His production might be inflated
Does He Fit With The Giants?
This is tricky. At first glance, Murphy kinda reminds me of DaMontre Moore. They have similar size at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, with long arms. They are both sack masters, who made an art from out of putting opposing QBs on the ground. Also, they both spent the majority of their college careers at outside linebacker.
However, where Moore was able to wake up on Saturday and beat opponents with his natural athleticism, Murphy has to out-work them. That's one of the things I love about Trent Murphy: He is the kind of tough, blue collar player who would not only bring his lunch pail every day, but do his best to beat you into submission with it.
The Giants ask a lot of their defensive ends. It's possible that Murphy might not have the the right set of tools, or be big enough, to get it done in this defense. But, come down to it, I think I'd rather bet on Murphy than against him. Guys who play the game like he does have a knack for succeeding.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 39
Mocking The Draft - 49
CBS Sports - 70
Draft Countdown - 40
Draft Tek - 45
Personally, I like Trent Murphy. Like his teammate Shayne Skov he just plays the game the way it should be played. He's a football player first, and an athlete second. Unfortunately, those types aren't exactly coveted by the NFL at the moment. I can understand it to an extent. At most positions, the better athlete you are, the more tools you have. The more tools you have the more options you have, and the more ways a team can use you, increasing your value.
But, if that means getting guys like Murphy or Skov at a discount, the pragmatist in me will take that in a heartbeat. Even if he doesn't quite have athletic tools to transition to full-time DE, if the value is right I'd gladly take Murphy in blue and let him be a situational pass rusher or play JOKER (a la Kiwi). Just put him in position, and he'll make plays for you.