Players That Bear Watching: Clemson pass rusher Myles Murphy originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The NFL trading deadline recently concluded and the Chicago Bears were more active than they’ve ever been this late into a season.
Exciting from a fan’s perspective and especially intriguing from an analytical approach, the trades general manager Ryan Poles made created a more obvious team need.
Currently, Chicago ranks 31st against the run and going forward should address the entirety of its defensive front. There are some impressive edge rushing prospects entering into April’s draft, so, below we’ll take a look at one of the best.
Name: Bryan Breese
School (Year): Clemson (Jr)
Measurables: 6’5”, 275 lbs / 4.57 40-Time / 31-inch Vertical / 405 lbs bench press / 505 lbs deadlift
Career Notes:  Preseason Second-Team All-American (Associated Press);  Second-Team All ACC;  Fourth-Team All-American (Phil Steele);  Freshman All-American (The Athletic, ESPN, Football Writers Association of America);  ACC Co-Newcomer of the Year (Associated Press); 109 Total Tackles; 35 Tackles for loss; 18.5 Sacks; 5 Passes Defended; 6 Forced Fumbles
Best Game: There are times when Murphy’s focus on the field appears questionable and he seems bored for moments during a game. Even his head coach, Dabo Swinney has been on record insinuating Murphy loafs on occasion. Well, on October 15 at Florida State, Murphy set the tone with an impactful performance against the Seminoles. Murphy helped engineer a 34 to 28 victory, by registering six takedowns along with three and a half tackles for loss and two sacks.
What they’re saying about him: “You won’t find many defensive ends as physically imposing as Murphy at as young of an age.” - Pro Football Focus reporter Michael Renner
Skill Set: Myles Murphy is arguably considered this upcoming draft class’ top pass rushing defensive end. Many talent evaluators believe he’s the complete package of run stuffing and pass rushing disruption composed within a solitary player. His six-foot-five, 275 pound frame is perfect for a more traditional 4-3 schemed edge rushing position. Efficient and athletic, Murphy’s impressive ability to transition speed-to-power, completely overwhelms blockers and creates distress in opposing backfields. Extremely versatile, he can play anywhere along the defensive front and dominate with an explosive first step that gets opponents routinely off balance.
Why Chicago? Historically, the Bears defense generally operated within a 4-3 schematic, whereby outside pressure from defensive ends generated sacks. Hall of Fame defensive ends like Richard Dent (124.5); Dan Hampton (82); Doug Atkins (64.5) and other notable edge rushers such as, Alex Brown (43.5) and Trace Armstrong (42) all produced career sack numbers from a 4-3 scheme. Under head coach Matt Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams, the Bears utilize a four-man front to create pressure on opposing offensive lines. If Chicago finds itself in a position to draft Clemson’s Myles Murphy, it could revitalize a Bears’ legacy of dominating defensive ends. His ability to strike fast helps to out leverage blockers, while his strength allows him to redirect his opponents, in a disregarding manner. Murphy can rush from either side and creates enough havoc to keep offenses off schedule and rhythmically challenged. Chicago traded Robert Quinn and his Bears’ single season, record setting 18.5 sacks; so, possibly drafting this Tiger from Clemson may let Murphy lay down the law against opponents in the Windy City.
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