CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor said he couldn’t believe Myles Murphy was still on the board when his team was on the clock.
The Bengals wasted very little time turning in their first-round pick, selecting the Clemson edge rusher with the 28th selection in the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
“We feel like we got a really good one that’s going to add to the mix for us and really complement the guys that we have and really make that room as strong as possible,” Taylor said.
Cincinnati used the first of seven total picks on the 2022 first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection.
Murphy compiled 18.5 sacks and 36 tackles for loss over three seasons for the Tigers.
The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Murphy is another weapon for defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s scheme that already includes defensive ends Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard.
“Man, they go and get after it. That’s what I love,” said Murphy, who stepped away from a draft party of about 180 people to speak to media members on the phone. “Tyler Hendrickson’s there. I really love just watching them work the edge. They let them just do what they want to do and have the freedom to get to the quarterback. I love that about them.”
Anarumo, whose defense finished 29th in team sacks last season with 30, said adding Murphy will help the Bengals contain the quarterbacks they’ll face in the AFC.
“Guys like (Patrick) Mahomes, (Justin) Herbert, all the great quarterbacks that we have to play, they’re mobile guys,” he said. “There’s really very few that’s just going to stand there. So, the more athletic you are, the faster you are, the better you’re going to be at tracking them down. The more speed you can have, the better you’ll be.”
Cincinnati finished 12-4 last season, winning its second straight AFC North championship before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game.
Murphy said he’s hoping to be the missing piece that finally delivers the Bengals their first Super Bowl win in franchise history.
“They have all the pieces to be a Super Bowl contender,” he said. “I just want to be that finishing piece that pushes them over that edge of being a Super Bowl contender to a Super Bowl winner every year.”