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Road to the Draft: Byron Murphy II would consider it 'a blessing' to put on silver and black


Byron Murphy II considers one of his crowning moments as a college athlete to have happened on September 9, 2023, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

In the previous season, Murphy and the Texas Longhorns suffered a devastating 20-19 loss to Alabama, with the defeat lingering on the rest of the year. Coming into the 2023 season, they were tasked with not only avenging their loss to the Crimson Tide, but making a statement to the rest of the nation.

Against the No. 3 ranked Alabama squad, Texas decisively defeated them 34-24. Murphy had two tackles and three quarterback hurries in the outing.

"Being the last team to beat them at home in three years, it means a lot getting a win down there because not too many people win [there]," Murphy said Wednesday at the NFL Combine. "With 'Bama, it's hard to win so just beating Alabama and Nick Saban, I'd say that was a big win for me and will be something I never forget."

The Texas Longhorns went on to win the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2009, finishing with a 12-2 record and their first College Football Playoff appearance. The pairing Murphy made with nose tackle T'Vondre Sweat proved to be one of the best in college football, fueling a defensive line that allowed the third-fewest rushing yards to opponents in 2023. Murphy totaled 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks on the year, and is now looking to bring his talents to the pros.

"What do I bring to an NFL franchise? I'd say I bring hard work, leadership, grit, determination and being a great team player," said Murphy. "I'm just putting in the work, just working hard each and every day. I feel like my tape speaks for itself. I put a lot on tape this year. I feel like I showed a lot of NFL teams what I can do and what they can get from me."

While Murphy didn't express a preference of where he's drafted, he said he wants to go somewhere with a proven edge rusher playing next to him. He's been connected to the Raiders in several mock drafts, and the possibility of being paired with Defensive Player of the Year finalist Maxx Crosby is tantalizing.

"It would be a blessing to me to be with the Raiders," said Murphy. "To play with a guy like Maxx Crosby, that would be crazy. I've never played with a guy like that, I feel like he would make my job much easier as well.

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View photos of the draft prospects that top analysts are predicting the Raiders may select at No. 13 overall. (Last updated Tuesday, February 27, 2024).

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