Jaguars cannot pass up chance to take edge rusher in 2023 NFL Draft

Clemson Tigers DE Myles Murphy (98) and Boston College Eagles WR Zay Flowers (4) at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Clemson Tigers DE Myles Murphy (98) and Boston College Eagles WR Zay Flowers (4) at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Cornerback is among the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top offseason needs, which is why it isn’t surprising to see them taking Georgia’s Kalee Ringo with the 24th overall pick in the 33rd Team’s latest mock draft. However, they shouldn’t overlook the possibility of selecting an edge rusher in the first or second round.

Coincidentally, the 33rd Team’s scouting department had the Jags going with Myles Murphy at No. 25 in a previous mock draft. Here’s why they think the former Clemson Tiger would be a solid addition to Jacksonville’s front seven.

"The Jaguars have their franchise quarterback, so they can turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball and try to find another edge rusher to pair with former first-round pick Josh Allen. Myles Murphy produced 6.5 sacks last year for Clemson and boasts great quickness off the snap. You can never have enough players to get to the quarterback."

The 33rd Team highlights Murphy’s speed and high motor, noting he’s a fast rusher with good burst to gain ground upfield. On the other hand, they point out that he struggles when opposing offenses force him to redirect and “sometimes has a hard time countering” if sat on and anchored against.

A five-star recruit out of high school, Murphy appeared registered 116 total tackles, 36 tackles for a loss, 18.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles in 35 games at Clemson. He’s the third overall prospect and second-best edge defender in Bleacher Report’s big board, so there’s a chance he might not be available at No. 24.

Clemson DE Myles Murphy could give the Jaguars’ pass rush a boost

The Jags drafted Travon Walker first overall last year but it wouldn’t hurt to add another pass rusher this year. After all, outside linebacker Josh Allen is entering a contract year and there’s a chance he won’t return in 2024. Similarly, Dawuane Smooth is slated to become a free agent this offseason, so it would be in the team’s best interest to add another edge rusher in the draft.

Whether Allen leaves next offseason or not, Murphy would be a solid addition to the Jags’ pass rush rotation. One added benefit of drafting Murphy is that defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell could deploy Walker on a three-point stance more often. The Jags drafted Walker to play outside linebacker full time but he was more effective when he played with his hand on the ground.

Cornerback and tight end might be bigger needs than edge rusher for the Jaguars this offseason. However, they won’t force a pick and will instead look for the best player available. For this reason, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Murphy land with the Jaguars if he’s the best prospect on their big board when they’re on the clock.

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