The Las Vegas Raiders are in the process of finding prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, looking for the best fits on and off the field.
The draft process is long and meticulous, as NFL front offices, scouts, and coaches must evaluate countless prospects and determine who will contribute to their team.
The new regime in Las Vegas, Coach Antonio Pierce, and General Manager Tom Telesco is beginning that process together now. Pierce created a culture players want to play for, so they will look for players who want to join the Silver and Black.
One of those players could be UCLA defensive end Gabriel Murphy. He and his twin brother, Grayson Murphy, transferred from North Texas and spent the last two seasons of his career with the Bruins.
Murphy finished his collegiate career with the Mean Green and Bruins with 149 total tackles, 37 for loss, four forced fumbles, and 21.5 sacks. Murphy and fellow Bruin Laiatu Latu are two defensive linemen who hope to be selected early in the draft.
On tape, Murphy has the size necessary to be an NFL defensive lineman. He can play anywhere on the line and did so for former UCLA Defensive Coordinator D’Anton Lynn. He lined up in a two-point stance as a 0-technique, wide off the edge, and as a 3-technique, among other places.
Murphy stands at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds but plays much bigger than that listing. For him to line up as a defensive tackle and produce is impressive. He has good size, strength, and speed to be an effective player against the run and pass.
Murphy gets off the snap quickly as a pass rusher and uses his strong hands to beat linemen. He has the strength to overpower linemen and the speed to blow past them. According to Pro Football Focus, he generated 61 total pressures in 2023.
Murphy also uses his massive frame and broad base as a run defender to get off of blocks and bring down ball carriers. He was credited with 24 run stops, according to PFF.
While he is a fairly good run defender, he is an inconsistent tackler who occasionally struggles to get off blocks. He has to be more consistent as a tackler to be a three-down lineman in the NFL.
Murphy has good size but does not have the fluidity NFL teams hope for. This will limit him to the next level if he cannot become more flexible.
Murphy is projected to be a third-round selection. He could be an excellent fit if the Raiders want a defensive lineman with versatility, speed, and strength.
The NFL Draft will be held in Detroit, Mich., on April 25-27, 2024. The Las Vegas Raiders currently hold the No. 13 overall pick.
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