Out of all of the Redskins’ second year players, Trent Murphy is going to make the biggest jump in 2015.
At least that’s what Jay Gruden anticipates will happen.
“When you’re looking at practice and you watch practice film, you look for guys that jump out on the screen at you, guys that are making plays and you feel their presence and Trent Murphy is one of them,” Gruden said Wednesday after OTA practice.
Murphy appeared in 15 games as a rookie, including eight starts as Brian Orakpo’s replacement. The second round pick showed steady improvement as his workload increased, and he finished with 2.5 sacks and 11 quarterback pressures, according to ProFootballFocus.com, in those eight starts.
Gruden expects Murphy’s late season surge to carry over into the upcoming season.
“He’s bigger. He’s stronger. He’s rushing the passer extremely well [and] he’s getting off the ball very well right now,” Gruden said. “I think I’m expecting him to make the biggest jump from first year to second year on our football team because not only is he bigger but he knows the position.”
Gruden added: “He’s athletic, and when you put on some extra bulk and strength, it’s just going to give him more. He’s already a smart football player with great instincts. Now you add the extra bulk and we expect big things from him this year.”
The question is where will Murphy slot on the depth chart after the addition of Preston Smith, who was drafted in second round this year. We pretty much know Ryan Kerrigan, who is currently sidelined as he recovers from a knee scope, will start on the left side. But how does defensive coordinator Joe Barry plan to delegate the snaps on the right side?
During Wednesday’s OTA practice, Murphy worked exclusively with the first team, while Smith split first team reps with inexperienced veteran Trevardo Williams. The picture will become clearer when Kerrigan returns.
Indeed, it’s going to be an intriguing situation to monitor this summer.