“When comparing height, Murphy compares to last year’s No. 1 overall selection – Travon Walker,” CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards wrote. “Murphy is a fine athlete but realistically he’s not going to match Walker’s historic performance in the NFL Combine. Murphy is more exposed to what would be considered a traditional rushing role than Walker was at this point in his career. The former shows active hands and an ability to turn speed into power.When trying to identify likely picks in the first round of preseason, Murphy jumps.
Junior linebacker Trenton Simpson is right behind Murphy on the roster at No. 2.
An explosive linebacker and edge rusher, Simpson heads into the 2022 campaign credited with 110 tackles (18.5 for loss), 10.0 sacks, three pass breakups and one forced fumble in 25 games (15 starts).
“Simpson is one of the most versatile defensemen in this potential NFL Draft class,” Edwards wrote. “He is no Micah Parsons but could excel in a similar role allowing him to play in the box, rush the passer and blur the passing paths. The Charlotte native often finds himself around the ball because of his quick touch and trigger. First-year defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin has a lot to work on this season.
Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Bryan Bresee checks in at No. 7.
The former No. 1 rookie in the nation who burst onto the scene as a Freshman All-American in 2020, Bresee became the second ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year in Clemson history, joining Dexter Lawrence (2016). He enters the upcoming season with 48 tackles (9.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, two pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble and one safety in 16 games (14 starts).
“The nation’s #1 high school freshman of 2020 missed most of last season with a torn ACL,” Edwards wrote. “The talent is evident, but it’s unclear what to reasonably expect from Bresee after his injury this season. The Maryland native carries his weight very well and is just a natural athlete. He does a good job of stacking blockers while looking into the backfield and has good top speed.
Senior defensive tackle Tyler Davis rounds out the list, coming in at No. 10.
Davis made an immediate impact for the Tigers, landing the starting role in his first career game as a true freshman in 2019, and has been a centerpiece of the Clemson defense ever since. He enters the 2022 season with 95 tackles (16.5 for loss), 10.0 sacks, three pass breakups and two fumble recoveries in 31 games (28 starts).
“Davis does a great job of shooting the gaps and creating chaos in the opponent’s backfield,” Edwards wrote. “He does a good job of stacking and removing blockers to make an impact in the running game.”
–Information from Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this article