Seattle Seahawks draft Texas DL Byron Murphy II in first round

Apr 25, 2024, 7:11 PM | Updated: 9:28 pm

The Seattle Seahawks took advantage of a first round in the 2024 NFL Draft that was heavy on offensive players, taking Texas defensive lineman Byron Murphy II with the No. 16 overall pick on Thursday night.

Seahawks Draft Reaction: Top pick Byron Murphy a ‘300-lb ball of muscle’

Murphy, a second-team All-American selection who is listed as 6 foot 1 and 297 pounds, was considered to be perhaps the top defensive tackle in this draft class. He was just the second defensive player taken off the board, one pick after the Indianapolis Colts picked UCLA edge rusher and former UW Husky Laiatu Latu at No. 15 overall. Murphy is also Seattle’s first pick under new head coach Mike Macdonald.

The 21-year-old Murphy joins a Seattle defense that entered the draft with only one tackle under contract after the 2024 season: 2023 fourth-round pick Cameron Young. The Seahawks also have veterans Jarran Reed and Johnathan Hankins signed for the upcoming season. Murphy won’t turn 22 until the first weekend of the NFL regular season.

“He’s a little bit shorter, but he is very dynamic,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk in February. “He’s the best defensive tackle on tape in this draft. He’s a really, really disruptive strong, strong kid. … They’ve got some young pieces I like on defense, but just continuing to add up front I think would be a would be a nice fit (for the Seahawks).”

Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Tracker: Keep up on every pick and trade projected Murphy as a first-round pick. Murphy ranked fourth among defensive tackles with a 4.87-second 40-yard dash, second with a 33-inch vertical jump and fifth while bench pressing 225 pounds 28 times at the scouting combine. listed Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver as his player comparison. Oliver been a productive player over five seasons with Bills and was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 draft.’s Lance Zierlein wrote this about Murphy:

Muscular ball of explosiveness with the tools and talent to become a productive three-down defender in the right scheme. Twitchy first-step quickness combined with flexion and power in his lower half create a recipe for disruption as a gap shooter or as a pass rusher. Murphy is powerful and well-schooled at taking on double-teams but lacks ideal mass and length for that role long-term. He’s successful at bypassing protection with sudden hands and quick feet, while his motor and passion create an activity level coaches will love. Forget the average physical traits and modest production and focus on his competitive spirit and disruptive qualities. Murphy is ascending and could become a successful nose tackle or 3-technique in an even front.

The Seahawks hope Murphy can help fix their problems defending the run in recent seasons. Seattle’s defense ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing yards and rushing TDs and tied for 28th in yards per carry last season. The defense was also 30th in rushing yards allowed the year prior.

With Murphy and fellow defensive tackle standout T’Vondre Sweat leading the way, Texas reach the College Football Playoff semifinals and ranked fourth in the nation while allowing just 80.8 rushing yards per game.

Details and schedule: Live NFL Draft coverage from Seattle Sports

Murphy played in all 39 games for the Longhorns over the past three seasons and became a full-time starter for the first time in 2023. The Desoto, Texas, native had 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks, was a first-team All-Big-12 selection and was named Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. Murphy also showed he has some ball skills with a rushing and receiving TD on offense.

Watch Brock Huard’s draft profile on Murphy from Brock and Salk here, and find instant reaction to the Seahawks’ selection of Murphy from Seattle Sports’ NFL Draft coverage Thursday night in the video at the top of this post.

Seattle Sports’ Brent Stecker contributed to this post.

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