WYMAN AND BOB

Seahawks Draft: Clemson PxP breaks down Murphy, Bresee and Simpson

Feb 11, 2023, 2:43 PM | Updated: 2:43 pm

Armed with two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seahawks are primed to make a big splash in boosting their roster.

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The biggest area of need for the Seahawks ahead of the draft and free agency is the front of their defense along the defensive line and at linebacker.

One college team that has a few prospects who could help the Seahawks is Clemson, which has not one, not two, but three potential first-round picks on defense. Those players are defensive end Myles Murphy, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and linebacker Trenton Simpson.

If you look at mock drafts, those three are regularly going in the first round, and all three of them are regularly tied to the Seahawks with Murphy a common name with Seattle’s No. 5 overall pick and Brecee and Simpson targets at No. 20.

For instance, NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund has the Seahawks taking both Murphy and Bresee in the first round in her latest mock draft.

Who better to share insight into Murphy, Bresee and Simpson than Clemson play-by-play broadcaster Don Munson, who joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Friday to break down Clemson’s three top 2023 draft prospects.

DE Myles Murphy

Murphy, 21, was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2022 after recording 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss as a junior. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Murphy could certainly help the Seahawks’ defensive front.

“He’s a physical specimen. He’s everything that you want coming out of the box, that would say defensive end in the National Football League,” Munson said. “Probably the most surprising thing about Myles – and this will hold true when he gets to Indianapolis (for the NFL Scouting Combine) – it’s going to be his speed. He’s got speed and he’s got raw power, and those are two things as a defensive end that you can usually do a lot of damage with in the league. I don’t think that he’s really scratched the surface of what he is going to be. I think that easily his best years are still ahead of him, and I can understand why the Seahawks would be very interested in taking him.”

Clemson has turned itself into a college football powerhouse over the last decade, and the Tigers regularly churn out NFL players. Munson said that with Murphy regularly being around so many future NFL players, he saw how hard they worked and it really rubbed off on him.

As for his game, Murphy isn’t afraid of contact, Munson said.

“He’s a great edge setter. I mean, he is great at setting the edge. And that, to me, is one of the most overlooked things because it’s not something that shows up on a stat sheet,” he said. “… He does all the little things that make people around him better.”

But where does Murphy need to improve at the pro level?

“His sack numbers at Clemson aren’t amazing. They just aren’t,” Munson said. “But I think a lot of that has to do with the philosophy of defense that Clemson went about playing. They weren’t always counting on Myles to be the guy to get to the quarterback.”

Munson noted that Clemson hasn’t relied on just one guy to be the premier pass-rusher, and there are a lot of guys with a handful of sacks and not one guy who is “going crazy” with their sack numbers.

“That would be the one thing that if he wants to be special in the league, that’s the thing I would say that he’s got to learn how to do. How do you get to the quarterback, and how do you do that consistently?” he said.

DT Bryan Bresee

Bresee was the No. 1 recruit in the nation in high school and was an All-ACC member all three years with the Tigers.

The 6-5, 300-pound Bresee did some great things on the field for Clemson, and he also battled some adversity that impacted his play.

Munson said Bresee dealt with injuries and illnesses during his three years on campus and he also lost his sister to cancer this past year.

“Bryan fought through a lot of things physically and mentally here at Clemson,” Munson said.

Of the three top draft prospects Clemson has this year, Munson thinks Bresee has the highest ceiling.

“Whoever gets Bryan Brecee is getting a steal … If you can get him at 20, you’re getting an absolute steal at 20 because he’s a guy, I think, that had (the adversity) not happened, he could have easily been one of the top two or three picks in this draft, no problem whatsoever. He’s that kind of talent,” he said. “He can play inside, he can play outside. And again, the character that you have with a guy like Bryan Bresee is extraordinary. I love everything about Bryan Bresee. I will be shocked if Bryan Bresee drops to 20. I guarantee you, when he gets to the combine, that number is gonna go way, way up.”

“He’s gonna be one of these guys that just flat out man handles people. The other thing that we have to realize is that they’re drafting this kid and he’s only 21 years old at this point in time. I’m telling you, by the time that this kid is 24, 25, 26, he’s gonna be an All-Pro,” Munson later added. “I mean, I don’t have any doubt about that. Barring injury, this kid is going to be an All-Pro. And I think he’s got Hall of Fame-kind of potential about him. I think he’s got longevity, his motor runs all the time, he knows how to play football, he’s not afraid of contact – he loves contact, as a matter of fact. He eats, sleeps and drinks this stuff. If I had to take anybody off this team, it’s probably Bryan Bresee.”

LB Trenton Simpson

While defensive line is at the front of many Seahawks fans’ minds due to their struggles against the run and the occasional inability to pressure the quarterback, inside linebacker is a big area of need for Seattle this offseason.

Top tackler Jordyn Brooks tore his ACL in Week 16 and isn’t expected to be ready come Week 1 and fellow starting inside linebacker Cody Barton is a free agent after an up-and-down 2022 campaign.

If the Seahawks use an early pick on an insider linebacker, Trenton Simpson could be the guy. Simpson is 6-3 and 240 pounds.

Munson gave some insight into what Simpson can do on the field.

“He’s kind of today’s linebacker. He’s big, he’s athletic, he’s fast, he can cover the tight end, he can take care of a (running) back. If you need him to drop and maybe play a little safety look, he can certainly do that,” he said.

Munson said the game “has really slowed down” for Simpson during his time at Clemson, and his athletic traits really stand out.

“You just don’t find guys that are big, fast and athletic like Trenton Simpson is who also know the game,” he said. “I think that’s the other important part is that he’s not just an athlete that’s out there playing. This kid knows the game and knows knows how the pieces in front of him fit, what his job at linebacker is, how to read what’s going on in front of him. That’s Trenton Simpson.”

Listen to the full discussion with Munson at this link or in the player below.

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