Trent Murphy is a younger, smaller, and slightly quicker version of another Washington Redskins linebacker, Ryan Kerrigan. The 47th overall pick in the 2014 draft just inked a 4-year contract with the Redskins, but the size of the contract has not yet been released. The Skins hope to implement him into the the rotation of linebackers in Jim Haslett’s 3-4 scheme.
Although he played defensive end in college, his body type is that of an NFL linebacker and many depth charts have him playing in the same outside linebacker position as Kerrigan. Murphy will be asked to attack at the line of scrimmage and might line up as another down lineman as Kerrigan sometimes does. Murphy is no stranger to getting into the backfield as he was the NCAA leader in sacks last season with 15.
It appears what the Redskins are looking to do is relieve pressure on their secondary by getting to the quarterback faster. The Redskins surprisingly drafted no secondary players, and this was due to a considerable lack of depth at the corner position in the draft. Washington was tied for 21st in sacks recorded last season and obviously will be looking to Murphy to up that number. With the retirement of London Fletcher, linebackers Rob Jackson and Perry Riley will be depended on much more over the middle and in coverage.
The Redskins ultimately picked Murphy because they knew they would need a 3rd guy in their rotation of outside pass rushers. What makes Murphy a good choice is the prospect of him learning the position from a guy who came out of college with a similar scouting report. Tough, incredible motor, not too fast, may not be strong enough. Kerrigan really disproved all doubt and is one of the cornerstones of the Redskins defense.
With a 4-year contract in hand, Murphy will have plenty of time to settle into his new home and become the outside pass rusher Washington needs to improve their pedestrian defense.