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90-Man Roster: Can Ryan Murphy Win Reserve Safety Job?

Former Seahawk and Bronco would appear to be a long shot

Oakland Raiders v Seattle Seahawks
Ryan Murphy with Seattle during the 2015 preseason.
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Ryan Murphy is one of those players who has been hanging around the NFL perimeter for a couple of years, a practice squad player who has been waiting and hoping to eventually find himself in the right place at the right time.

Will that right place be the New York Giants, and will the right time be the 2017 season? A safety, Murphy is among several players competing for one of the final spots on the 53-man roster. Let’s take a closer look as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster.

2016 Season In Review

After spending the 2015 season on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad, that is where Murphy began the 2016 season. He was on and off the Denver practice squad until being released for good in late November. The Giants signed him to their practice squad in late December, then to a reserve/futures deal for 2017.

Murphy has never played in an NFL regular-season game. Here is a scouting report from Tony Pauline prior to the 2015 NFL Draft:

Bio: Three-year starter who finished with 65 tackles as a senior after career-best 74 the prior year, when he also posted 3 interceptions.

Positive: Underrated safety prospect who keeps the action in front of him. Effectively diagnoses plays, remains disciplined with assignments and wraps up tackling. Stays with opposing receivers in zone coverage and shows the ability to get outside the numbers making plays. Takes good angles to the action.

Negative: Struggles lining up over the slot receiver. Not fluid or smooth pedaling then flipping his hips in transition. At times too quick up the field and gets caught out of position. Inefficient, ducks his head and not a stout tackler.

Analysis: Murphy possesses the size and skill necessary to make it at the next level as a ninth defensive back/special teams player.

2017 Season Outlook

Giants’ GM Jerry Reese is never shy about giving opportunities to size/speed athletes who haven’t succeeded in other places.

Murphy would seem like a long shot to stick with the Giants, but there does seem to be a competition for at least one reserve safety spot. We will just have to see if Murphy can outlast guys like Nat Berhe, Duke Ihenacho and Jadar Johnson to earn a spot.

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