Stanford's Murphy torments passers from two positions

Stanford's Murphy torments passers from two positions
January 22, 2014, 7:30 am
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Trent Murphy had 62 tackles, 15 sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses in 14 games for Stanford last season. (AP)

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MOBILE, Ala. – Stanford pass rusher Trent Murphy came to the Senior Bowl a bit lighter than expected. He weighed in at 252 pounds on Monday, nine fewer than his playing weight.

Trimming down came by design, to further prove that he could play outside linebacker as a stand-up edge rusher in a 3-4 defense as he did at Stanford. Then he started practice, and the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff leading the North squad had him playing defensive end in a 4-3.

No matter. A lighter frame hasn’t stopped Murphy from dominating quality offensive tackles in these all-important practices.

“It was done on purpose,” Murphy said. “I basically want to be 255 for the NFL Combine (next month), to be a little faster and a little quicker so I can play that outside ‘backer position. If I need to go to the 4-3 defensive end, I have no problem putting weight back on so I can do that as well.”

As well as Murphy has practiced this week and played during his senior season, and as much as he’d prefer to be a stand-up rusher, he’ll draw interest from both defensive schemes.

Murphy is projected to go late in the first round or the second, but positive performances throughout the pre-draft process could raise his stock or at least lock in that range.

[RELATED: Raiders' search is on for a franchise quarterback]

Murphy said he’d met with the Raiders early on, although they’d likely need him to fall to them at No. 36 overall. That might be tough. The Raiders also might prefer a bigger defensive end for their scheme.

Murphy will have several suitors, especially after a 2013 season where he had 62 tackles, 15 sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses in 14 games. He played well against tough competition due to a supreme confidence in his talent and preparation.

“Being an intelligent player and having good character on and off the field like most Stanford guys do,” Murphy said. “I think I’m a pretty dynamic player and would be a good addition to a team in the NFL.”

Murphy is will play alongside Stanford teammates fullback Ryan Hewitt and Shayne Skov in Saturday’s game.

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